Analysis of CaM-kinase signaling in cells

Gary A. Wayman, Hiroshi Tokumitsu, Monika A. Davare, Thomas R. Soderling

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


A change in intracellular free calcium is a common signaling mechanism that modulates a wide array of physiological processes in most cells. Responses to increased intracellular Ca2+ are often mediated by the ubiquitous protein calmodulin (CaM) that upon binding Ca2+ can interact with and alter the functionality of numerous proteins including a family of protein kinases referred to as CaM-kinases (CaMKs). Of particular interest are multifunctional CaMKs, such as CaMKI, CaMKII, CaMKIV and CaMKK, that can phosphorylate multiple downstream targets. This review will outline several protocols we have used to identify which members and/or isoforms of this CaMK family mediate specific cellular responses with a focus on studies in neurons. Many previous studies have relied on a single approach such as pharmacological inhibitors or transfected dominant-negative kinase constructs. Since each of these protocols has its limitations, that will be discussed, we emphasize the necessity to use multiple, independent approaches in mapping out cellular signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalCell Calcium
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • CaM kinase
  • CaM kinase I
  • CaM kinase II, neuron
  • CaM kinase IV
  • CaM kinase kinase
  • Calcium
  • Dominant negative, sh-RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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