Owing to the significant overlap between this paper and the paper ‘Calcium sensing receptors as integrators of multiple metabolic signals’ by Gerda E. Breitwieser, Susanne U. Miedlich and Mingliang Zhang in Cell Calcium (2004), vol. 35, pp. 209–216, the authors retract this paper. Both the authors and Biochemical Society Transactions apologize to Breitwieser et al. and Cell Calcium for this serious breach of the ethics of scientific publication and copyright infringement.