Calcium rises abruptly and briefly throughout the cell at the onset of anaphase

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Science  22 Aug 1986:
Vol. 233, Issue 4766, pp. 886-889
DOI: 10.1126/science.3755550


Continuous measurement and imaging of the intracellular free calcium ion concentration ([Ca2+]i) of mitotic and interphase PtK1 cells was accomplished with the new fluorescent Ca2+ indicator fura-2. No statistically significant difference between basal [Ca2+]i of interphase and mitotic cells was detected. However, mitotic cells showed a rapid elevation of [Ca2+]i from basal levels of 130 nM to 500 to 800 nM at the metaphase-anaphase transition. The [Ca2+]i transient was brief, lasting approximately 20 seconds and the elevated [Ca2+]i appeared uniformly distributed over the entire spindle and central region of the cell. The close temporal association of the [Ca2+]i transient with the onset of anaphase suggests that calcium may have a signaling role in this event.