The function of guanylate cyclase 1 and guanylate cyclase 2 in rod and cone photoreceptors

Wolfgang Baehr, Sukanya Karan, Tadao Maeda, Dong Gen Luo, Sha Li, J. Darin Bronson, Carl B. Watt, King Wai Yau, Jeanne M. Frederick, Krzysztof Palczewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Retinal guanylate cyclases 1 and 2 (GC1 and GC2) are responsible for synthesis of cyclic GMP in rods and cones, but their individual contributions to phototransduction are unknown. We report here that the deletion of both GC1 and GC2 rendered rod and cone photoreceptors nonfunctional and unstable. In the rod outer segments of GC double knock-out mice, guanylate cyclase-activating proteins 1 and 2, and cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase were undetectable, although rhodopsin and transducin α-subunit were mostly unaffected. Outer segment membranes of GC1-/- and GC double knock-out cones were destabilized and devoid of cone transducin (α- and γ-subunits), cone phosphodiesterase, and G protein-coupled receptor kinase 1, whereas cone pigments were present at reduced levels. Real time reverse transcription-PCR analyses demonstrated normal RNA transcript levels for the down regulated proteins, indicating that down-regulation is posttranslational. We interpret these results to demonstrate an intrinsic requirement of GCs for stability and/or transport of a set of membrane-associated phototransduction proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8837-8847
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 23 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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