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Neuron. 2001 Jan;29(1):255-66.

Circadian regulation of cGMP-gated cationic channels of chick retinal cones. Erk MAP Kinase and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II.

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Biological Clocks Program, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA.


cGMP-gated channels are essential for phototransduction in the vertebrate retina. Here we show that the affinity of these channels for cGMP in chick cones is substantially higher during the subjective night than during the subjective day. This effect persists in constant environmental conditions after entrainment to 12:12 hr light-dark cycles in vitro or in ovo. Circadian modulation of ligand affinity is a posttranslational effect and is driven by rhythms in the activities of two protein kinases: Erk and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). Erk is maximally active during the subjective night, whereas CaMKII is maximally active during the subjective day. Acute inhibition of these signaling pathways causes phase-dependent changes in the affinity of the channels for cGMP.

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