What is it about?

Rod photoreceptor outer segments are specialized ciliary architectures. Our imaging experiments reveal three properties of rods. First, intracellular calcium and key proteins have a concentration varying from the OS base to the tip. At the rod outer segment base, calcium is approximately 80 nM and increases up to ∼200 nM at the rod outer segment tip; second, there are spontaneous calcium flares in functional rods, and these flares are highly localized and are more pronounced at the rod outer segment tip; third, a bright flash of light at 488 nm induces a drop in calcium at the outer segment base but often a flare at the tip. This structural and functional gradient of the phototransduction machinery is a fundamental aspect of transduction in vertebrate photoreceptors.

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Why is it important?

Our manuscript shows that this structural and functional gradient of the phototransduction machinery is a fundamental aspect of vertebrate photoreceptors and will have a major impact in the field.

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This page is a summary of: Calcium flares and compartmentalization in rod photoreceptors, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 2020, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2004909117.
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