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Neuron. 2002 Sep 26;36(1):81-91.

Dynamics of cyclic GMP synthesis in retinal rods.

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Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


In retinal rods, Ca(2+) exerts negative feedback control on cGMP synthesis by guanylate cyclase (GC). This feedback loop was disrupted in mouse rods lacking guanylate cyclase activating proteins GCAP1 and GCAP2 (GCAPs(-/-)). Comparison of the behavior of wild-type and GCAPs(-/-) rods allowed us to investigate the role of the feedback loop in normal rod function. We have found that regulation of GC is apparently the only Ca(2+) feedback loop operating during the single photon response. Analysis of the rods' light responses and cellular dark noise suggests that GC normally responds to light-driven changes in [Ca(2+)] rapidly and highly cooperatively. Rapid feedback to GC speeds the rod's temporal responsiveness and improves its signal-to-noise ratio by minimizing fluctuations in cGMP.

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