The calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) plays a pivotal role in systemic calcium metabolism by regulating parathyroid hormone secretion and urinary calcium excretion. The CaSR is ubiquitously expressed, implying a wide range of functions regulated by this receptor. Abnormal CaSR function affects the development of both calciotropic disorders such as hyperparathyroidism, and non-calciotropic disorders such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, which are the leading causes of mortality worldwide. The CaSR is able to bind a plethora of ligands; it interacts with multiple G protein subtypes, and regulates highly divergent downstream signalling pathways, depending on the cellular context. The CaSR is a key regulator for such diverse processes as hormone secretion, gene expression, inflammation, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Due to this pleiotropy, the CaSR is able to regulate cell fate and is implicated in the development of many types of benign or malignant tumours of the breast, prostate, parathyroid, and colon. In cancer, the CaSR appears to have paradoxical roles, and depending on the tissue involved, it is able to prevent or promote tumour growth. In tissues like the parathyroid or colon, the CaSR inhibits proliferation and induces terminal differentiation of the cells. Therefore, loss of the receptor, as seen in colorectal or parathyroid tumours, confers malignant potential, suggestive of a tumour suppressor role. In contrast, in prostate and breast tumours the expression of the CaSR is increased and it seems that it favours metastasis to the bone, acting as an oncogene. Deciphering the molecular mechanism driving the CaSR in the different tissues could lead to development of new allosteric drug compounds that selectively target the CaSR and have therapeutic potential for cancer. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Calcium and Cell Fate . Guest Editors: Jacques Haiech, Claus Heizmann, Joachim Krebs, Thierry Capiod and Olivier Mignen.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2015.11.017
View details for Web of Science ID 000375885900008
View details for PubMedID 26608608