Role of the calcium-sensing receptor in parathyroid gland physiology
Randolph A. Chen and William G. Goodman
The calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) represents the molecular mechanism by which parathyroid cells detect changes in blood ionized calcium concentration and modulate parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion to maintain serum calcium levels within a narrow physiological range. Much has been learned in recent years about the diversity of signal transduction through the CaSR and the various factors that affect receptor expression. Beyond its classic role as a determinant of calcium-regulated PTH secretion, signaling through the CaSR also influences both gene transcription and cell proliferation in parathyroid cells. The CaSR thus serves a broad physiological role by integrating several distinct aspects of parathyroid gland function. The current review summarizes recent developments that enhance our understanding of the CaSR and its fundamental importance in parathyroid gland physiology.