The 21-amino-acid peptide ET-1 (endothelin-1) regulates a diverse array of physiological processes, including vasoconstriction, angiogenesis, nociception and cell proliferation. Most of the effects of ET-1 are associated with an increase in intracellular calcium concentration. The calcium influx and mobilization pathways activated by ET-1, however, vary immensely. The present review begins with the basics of calcium signalling and investigates the different ways intracellular calcium concentration can increase in response to a stimulus. The focus then shifts to ET-1, and discusses how ET receptors mobilize calcium. We also examine how disease alters calcium-dependent responses to ET-1 by discussing changes to ET-1-mediated calcium signalling in hypertension, as there is significant interest in the role of ET-1 in this important disease. A list of unanswered questions regarding ET-mediated calcium signals are also presented, as well as perspectives for future research of calcium mobilization by ET-1.

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