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The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and acidic organelles (endo-lysosomes) act as separate Ca(2+) stores that release Ca(2+) in response to the second messengers IP3 and cADPR (ER) or NAADP (acidic organelles). Typically, trigger Ca(2+) released from acidic organelles by NAADP subsequently recruits IP3 or ryanodine receptors on the ER, an anterograde signal important for amplification and Ca(2+) oscillations/waves. We therefore investigated whether the ER can signal back to acidic organelles, using organelle pH as a reporter of NAADP action. We show that Ca(2+) released from the ER can activate the NAADP pathway in two ways: first, by stimulating Ca(2+)-dependent NAADP synthesis; second, by activating NAADP-regulated channels. Moreover, the differential effects of EGTA and BAPTA (slow and fast Ca(2+) chelators, respectively) suggest that the acidic organelles are preferentially activated by local microdomains of high Ca(2+) at junctions between the ER and acidic organelles. Bidirectional organelle communication may have wider implications for endo-lysosomal function as well as the generation of Ca(2+) oscillations and waves.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cell Biol

Publication Date





789 - 805


Animals, Calcium, Calcium Signaling, Chelating Agents, Egtazic Acid, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Endosomes, Lysosomes, Lytechinus, NADP