The SLC24 gene family of Na⁺/Ca²⁺-K⁺ exchangers: from sight and smell to memory consolidation and skin pigmentation

Mol Aspects Med. 2013 Apr-Jun;34(2-3):455-64. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2012.07.008.


Members of the SLC24 gene family encode K(+)-dependent Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchangers (NCKX) that utilize both the inward Na(+) and outward K(+) gradients to extrude Ca(2+) from cells. There are five human SLC24 genes that play a role in biological process as diverse as vision in retinal rod and cone photoreceptors, olfaction, skin pigmentation and at least three of the five genes are also widely expressed in the brain. Here I review the functional, physiological and structural features of NCKX proteins that have emerged in the past few years.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Multigene Family / genetics*
  • Pigmentation / genetics
  • Pigmentation / physiology
  • Protein Conformation*
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Smell / genetics
  • Smell / physiology
  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger / genetics*
  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger / metabolism
  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger / physiology*
  • Uterus / metabolism
  • Vision, Ocular / genetics
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology


  • Sodium-Calcium Exchanger
  • potassium-dependent sodium-calcium exchanger