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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012;740:873-89. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-2888-2_39.

Calcium stores in vertebrate photoreceptors.

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Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.


This review lays out the emerging evidence for the fundamental role of Ca(2+) stores and store-operated channels in the Ca(2+) homeostasis of rods and cones. Calcium-induced calcium release (CICR) is a major contributor to steady-state and light-evoked photoreceptor Ca(2+) homeostasis in the darkness whereas store-operated Ca(2+) channels play a more significant role under sustained illumination conditions. The homeostatic response includes dynamic interactions between the plasma membrane, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), mitochondria and/or outer segment disk organelles which dynamically sequester, accumulate and release Ca(2+). Coordinated activation of SERCA transporters, ryanodine receptors (RyR), inositol triphosphate receptors (IP3Rs) and TRPC channels amplifies cytosolic voltage-operated signals but also provides a memory trace of previous exposures to light. Store-operated channels, activated by the STIM1 sensor, prevent pathological decrease in [Ca(2+)]i mediated by excessive activation of PMCA transporters in saturating light. CICR and SOCE may also modulate the transmission of afferent and efferent signals in the outer retina. Thus, Ca(2+) stores provide additional complexity, adaptability, tuneability and speed to photoreceptor signaling.

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