Guanylate cyclase–activating protein 2 contributes to phototransduction and light adaptation in mouse cone photoreceptors

Frans Vinberg, Igor V. Peshenko, Jeannie Chen, Alexander M. Dizhoor, Vladimir J. Kefalov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Light adaptation of photoreceptor cells is mediated by Ca2dependent mechanisms. In darkness, Ca2 influx through cGMP-gated channels into the outer segment of photoreceptors is balanced by Ca2 extrusion via Na/Ca2, K exchangers (NCKXs). Light activates a G protein signaling cascade, which closes cGMP-gated channels and decreases Ca2 levels in photoreceptor outer segment because of continuing Ca2 extrusion by NCKXs. Guanylate cyclase–activating proteins (GCAPs) then up-regulate cGMP synthesis by activating retinal membrane guanylate cyclases (RetGCs) in low Ca2. This activation of RetGC accelerates photoresponse recovery and critically contributes to light adaptation of the nighttime rod and daytime cone photoreceptors. In mouse rod photoreceptors, GCAP1 and GCAP2 both contribute to the Ca2-feedback mechanism. In contrast, only GCAP1 appears to modulate RetGC activity in mouse cones because evidence of GCAP2 expression in cones is lacking. Surprisingly, we found that GCAP2 is expressed in cones and can regulate light sensitivity and response kinetics as well as light adaptation of GCAP1-deficient mouse cones. Furthermore, we show that GCAP2 promotes cGMP synthesis and cGMP-gated channel opening in mouse cones exposed to low Ca2. Our biochemical model and experiments indicate that GCAP2 significantly contributes to the activation of RetGC1 at low Ca2 when GCAP1 is not present. Of note, in WT mouse cones, GCAP1 dominates the regulation of cGMP synthesis. We conclude that, under normal physiological conditions, GCAP1 dominates the regulation of cGMP synthesis in mouse cones, but if its function becomes compromised, GCAP2 contributes to the regulation of phototransduction and light adaptation of cones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7457-7465
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 11 2018


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