In previous seminal work michael whitaker’s lab had shown that Ca signalling has a critical role in mammalian mitosis. However, Ca gradients were not evident in all cell types, suggesting that this might not be a universal mechanism. They therefore turned to an invertebrate model, the early Drosophila embryo, in which the major Ca store, the endoplasmic reticulum surrounds the nucleus and mitotic spindle. They detected Ca transients associated with nuclear division and showed that disruption of Ca-signalling prevented division. these data point to the importance of Ca-signalling in mitosis in fruit flies and sea urchins and suggest its importance in mammals and man.
Parry H, McDougall A and Whitaker M. 2005. Microdomains bounded by endoplasmic reticulum segregate cell cycle calcium transients in syncytial Drosophila embryos. The Journal of Cell Biology 171, 47-59.