Calreticulin is an ER (endoplasmic reticulum) luminal Ca2+-buffering chaperone. The protein is involved in regulation of intracellular Ca2+ homoeostasis and ER Ca2+ capacity. The protein impacts on store-operated Ca2+ influx and influences Ca2+-dependent transcriptional pathways during embryonic development. Calreticulin is also involved in the folding of newly synthesized proteins and glycoproteins and, together with calnexin (an integral ER membrane chaperone similar to calreticulin) and ERp57 [ER protein of 57 kDa; a PDI (protein disulfide-isomerase)-like ER-resident protein], constitutes the ‘calreticulin/calnexin cycle’ that is responsible for folding and quality control of newly synthesized glycoproteins. In recent years, calreticulin has been implicated to play a role in many biological systems, including functions inside and outside the ER, indicating that the protein is a multi-process molecule. Regulation of Ca2+ homoeostasis and ER Ca2+ buffering by calreticulin might be the key to explain its multi-process property.

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