Calcium ions are the most ubiquitous and versatile signaling molecules in eukaryotic cells. Calcium homeostasis and signaling systems are crucial for both the normal growth of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the intricate working of the mammalian heart. In this paper, we make a detailed comparison between the calcium homeostasis/signaling networks in yeast cells and those in mammalian cardiac myocytes. This comparison covers not only the components, structure and function of the networks but also includes existing knowledge on the measured and simulated network dynamics using mathematical models. Surprisingly, most of the factors known in the yeast calcium homeostasis/signaling network are conserved and operate similarly in mammalian cells, including cardiac myocytes. Moreover, the budding yeast S. cerevisiae is a simple organism that affords powerful genetic and genomic tools. Thus, exploring and understanding the calcium homeostasis/signaling system in yeast can provide a shortcut to help understand calcium homeostasis/signaling systems in mammalian cardiac myocytes. In turn, this knowledge can be used to help treat relevant human diseases such as pathological cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.
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