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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Nov;976:325-34.

Binding of the retinal rod Na+/Ca2+-K+ exchanger to the cGMP-gated channel indicates local Ca(2+)-signaling in vertebrate photoreceptors.

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Institute for Biological Information Processing (IBI-1), Research Center Juelich, D-52425 Juelich, Germany.


Ca(2+) ions enter the outer segment of rod or cone photoreceptors exclusively through the cGMP-gated channel and are extruded by the Na(+)/Ca(2+)-K(+) exchanger. Recent evidence indicates that in the plasma membrane, the Na(+)/Ca(2+)-K(+) exchanger is associated with the cGMP-gated channel. In this contribution, the possible physiologic significance of this protein complex is considered. Based on recent experimental evidence, the possibility of a direct functional interaction between the cGMP-gated channel and the Na(+)/Ca(2+)-K(+) exchanger is discussed. Furthermore, a quantitative estimation of the cytoplasmic Ca(2+) diffusion at the cGMP-gated channel indicates that Ca(2+) diffusion is largely confined to the complex of the cGMP-gated channel and the associated Na(+)/Ca(2+)-K(+) exchanger molecules.

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