One of the membrane guanylyl cyclases (GCs), RetGC, is expressed predominantly in photoreceptors. No extracellular ligand has been described for RetGC, but it is sensitive to activation by a soluble 24-kDa protein (p24) and is inhibited by Ca2+. This enzyme is, therefore, thought to play a role in resynthesizing cGMP for photoreceptor recovery or adaptation. By screening a human retinal cDNA library at low stringency with the cytoplasmic domains from four cyclases, we cloned cDNAs encoding a membrane CG that is most closely related to RetGC. We have named this GC RetGC-2, and now term the initially described RetGC RetGC-1. By in situ hybridization, mRNA encoding RetGC-2 is found only in the outer nuclear layer and inner segments of photoreceptor cells. By using synthetic peptide antiserum specific for each RetGC subtype, RetGC-2 can be distinguished from RetGC-1 as a slightly smaller protein in immunoblots of bovine rod outer segments. Membrane GC activity of recombinant RetGC-2 expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells is stimulated by the activator p24 and is inhibited by Ca2+ with an EC50 value of 50-100 nM. Our data reveal a previously unappreciated diversity of photoreceptor GCs.