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Nature. 1984 Sep 13-19;311(5982):160-3.

myo-Inositol polyphosphate may be a messenger for visual excitation in Limulus photoreceptors.


Photoreceptor excitation begins with the absorption of a photon by rhodopsin and proceeds through an unknown sequence of steps that leads to changes in specific ionic conductances. These conductance changes produce the receptor potential. It has been proposed that hydrolysis of phosphoinositides is involved in the control of a variety of physiological processes. Recent studies have implicated inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate as an intracellular messenger in the cascade mediating hormone-stimulated secretion. We propose that one of the steps in the excitatory cascade in Limulus ventral photoreceptors may be an increase in intracellular concentration of myo-inositol polyphosphates, derived from hydrolysis of the membrane component phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate by a phospholipase. Here we present biochemical and electrophysiological evidence that an inositol polyphosphate may be an intracellular messenger in the cascade mediating excitation, based on the following criteria: the cells possess the synthetic and degradative metabolism for the messenger; the natural stimulus leads to a change in the concentration of the messenger within the cells; and intracellular injection of exogenous messenger mimics naturally occurring electrophysiological events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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