Guanylate cyclase-activating protein (GCAP) 1 rescues cone recovery kinetics in GCAP1/GCAP2 knockout mice

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 May 27;100(11):6783-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1130102100. Epub 2003 May 5.


Mediated by guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs), cytoplasmic Ca2+ levels regulate the activity of photoreceptor guanylate cyclase (GC) and the synthesis of cGMP, the internal transmitter of phototransduction. When GCAP1 is expressed in transgenic mice on a GCAP null background, it restores the wild-type flash responses in rod photoreceptors. In this communication, we explored the role of GCAP1 in cone photoreceptors by using electroretinograms (ERGs). Under cone isolation conditions, ERGs recorded from mice lacking both GCAP1 and GCAP2 had normal amplitudes of the saturated a-wave and b-wave. However, recordings from these mice demonstrated a widened b-wave and increased sensitivity of both M- and UV-cone systems. Paired-flash ERGs revealed a delayed recovery of both the cone driven b-wave and a-wave and suggest that the delay originated from the photoreceptors. To test whether GCAP1 could restore normal cone response recovery, mice that expressed only transgenic GCAP1 in the absence of wild-type GCAP expression were tested. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that cones of these mice expressed high levels of GCAP1. Paired-flash ERGs showed that the recovery of the cone-driven a-wave was restored to normal, whereas recovery of the cone-driven b-wave was slightly faster than that observed in wild-type mice. These studies reveal that, similar to rods, deletion of GCAP1 and GCAP2 delays the recovery of light responses in cones and GCAP1 restores the recovery of cone responses in the absence of GCAP2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Electroretinography
  • Guanylate Cyclase-Activating Proteins
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kinetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Guanylate Cyclase-Activating Proteins
  • Guca1a protein, mouse
  • Guca1b protein, mouse