Can anyone suggest me literature on the lifetime of secondary messengers such as calcium or IP3? A book would be preferred. What I am specifically looking for is a validation that secondary messengers have a certain lifetime and undergo degradation. I need not know specifically how long their lifetime is but rather interested in the fact that they do undergo biodegradation.

[EDIT]: Replaced the word 'biomolecule' by 'secondary messengers' as per the suggestion of @WYSIWYG to narrow down the answer.


The lifetime of Calcium can be considered infinite in biological time scales, it is not a real biomolecule. The half-life time of other biomolecules like IP3, PIP2, receptors, hormones, etc. is species-dependent and within the species strongly depending on the cell and its metabolic state.

Short answer: There is no overview for lifetimes of biomolecules. It is easier to search for a specific molecule in a specific cell. Perhaps you are lucky and somebody measured it.

Update to the comments: All known second messengers, like Ca2+, IP3, PIP2, change their concentration in response to a stimulus, e.g. activation of muscarinic receptors causes activation of phospholipase C which cleaves PIP2 in DAG and IP3. IP3 causes release of Ca2+. Ca2+ never gets degraded or synthesized but the intracellular concentration changes. PIP2 gets degraded, i.e. its concentration becomes lower, while the concentration of its cleavage products, IP3 and DAG, increases. Those changes are temporary, after removal of the stimulus the 2nd messengers get degraded as well or e.g. Ca2+ is taken up into intracellular compartments.

A general overview about second messengers.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank for the info. But is there any book that talks about the lifetimes of biomolecules in general. $\endgroup$ – nashynash May 30 '16 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ I doubt that there is a book in general. There are specific works, e.g. for IP3 and tables for drugs (can be found in most pharmacology books) but I don't recall any table for biomolecules in general. You might be lucky to find info on lipids or hormones in a review but it will require quite some work to compile a table for all biomolecules. $\endgroup$ – Ashafix May 30 '16 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ Not a single book that would say that biomolecules have a lifetime. I do not need to know how long the lifetimes are, but just a confirmation that any biomolecule would have a limited lifetime $\endgroup$ – nashynash May 30 '16 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ I think the OP is referring to lifetime of Ca in active levels during a signalling event. Similarly with IP3 (related post). @nashynash clarify the question if that is the case. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG May 30 '16 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ If biomolecules would mean second messengers, then the question would be a lot easier to answer :) $\endgroup$ – Ashafix May 30 '16 at 14:40

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