Calcium is a critical regulator of cell death pathways. One of the most proximal events leading to cell death is activation of plasma membrane and endoplasmic reticulum-resident calcium channels. A large body of evidence indicates that defects in this pathway contribute to cancer development. Although we have a thorough understanding of how downstream elevations in cytosolic and mitochondrial calcium contribute to cell death, it is much less clear how calcium channels are activated upstream of the apoptotic stimulus. Recently, it has been shown that protein lipidation is a potent regulator of apoptotic signaling. Although classically thought of as a static modification, rapid and reversible protein acylation has emerged as a new signaling paradigm relevant to many pathways, including calcium release and cell death. In this review, we will discuss the role of protein lipidation in regulating apoptotic calcium signaling with direct therapeutic relevance to cancer.
PMID: 28706877 PMCID: PMC5489567 DOI: 10.3389/fonc.2017.00138