Journal Article The Na+/Ca2+, K+ exchanger 2 modulates mammalian cone phototransduction

Sakurai, Keisuke  ,  Vinberg, Frans  ,  Wang, Tian  ,  Chen, Jeannie  ,  Kefalov, Vladimir J.

6p.32521 , 2016-09 , Nature Publishing Group
Calcium ions (Ca2+) modulate the phototransduction cascade of vertebrate cone photoreceptors to tune gain, inactivation, and light adaptation. In darkness, the continuous current entering the cone outer segment through cGMP-gated (CNG) channels is carried in part by Ca2+, which is then extruded back to the extracellular space. The mechanism of Ca2+ extrusion from mammalian cones is not understood. The dominant view has been that the cone-specific isoform of the Na+/Ca2+, K+ exchanger, NCKX2, is responsible for removing Ca2+ from their outer segments. However, indirect evaluation of cone function in NCKX2-deficient (Nckx2−/−) mice by electroretinogram recordings revealed normal photopic b-wave responses. This unexpected result suggested that NCKX2 may not be involved in the Ca2+ homeostasis of mammalian cones. To address this controversy, we examined the expression of NCKX2 in mouse cones and performed transretinal recordings from Nckx2−/− mice to determine the effect of NCKX2 deletion on cone function directly. We found that Nckx2−/− cones exhibit compromised phototransduction inactivation, slower response recovery and delayed background adaptation. We conclude that NCKX2 is required for the maintenance of efficient Ca2+ extrusion from mouse cones. However, surprisingly, Nckx2−/− cones adapted normally in steady background light, indicating the existence of additional Ca2+-extruding mechanisms in mammalian cones.

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