The mammalian retina contains at least two guanylyl cyclases (GC1 and GC2) and two guanylyl cyclase-activating proteins (GCAP1 and GCAP2). Here we present evidence of the presence of a new photoreceptor-specific GCAP, termed GCAP3, which is closely related to GCAP1. The sequence similarity of GCAP3 with GCAP1 and GCAP2 is 57 and 49%, respectively. Recombinant GCAP3 and GCAP2 stimulate GC1 and GC2 in low [Ca2+]free and inhibit GCs when [Ca2+]free is elevated, unlike GCAP1, which only stimulates GC1. GCAP3 is encoded by a distinct gene present in other mammalian species but could not be detected by genomic Southern blotting in rodents, amphibians, and lower vertebrates. The intron/exon arrangement of the GCAP3 gene is identical to that of the other GCAP genes. While the GCAP1 and GCAP2 genes are arranged in a tail-to-tail array on chromosome 6p in human, the GCAP3 gene is located on 3q13.1, suggesting an ancestral gene duplication/translocation event. The identification of multiple Ca2+-binding proteins that interact with GC is suggestive of complex regulatory mechanisms for photoreceptor GC.