Plasma Membrane Calcium ATPase and Its Relationship to Nitric Oxide Signaling in the Heart

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The plasma membrane calcium/calmodulin-dependent ATPase (PMCA) is a ubiquitously expressed calcium-extruding enzymatic pump. In the majority of cells the main function of PMCA is as the only system to extrude calcium from the cytosol, however, in the excitable cells of the heart it has only a minor role in the bulk removal of calcium compared to the sodium–calcium exchanger. There is increasing evidence to suggest that PMCA has an additional role as a potential modulator of a number of signal transduction pathways. Of key interest in the heart is the functional interaction between the calcium/calmodulin-dependent enzyme neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and isoform 4 of PMCA. Nitric oxide production from nNOS is known to be important in the regulation of excitation–contraction (EC) coupling and subsequently contractility. This article will focus on recent evidence suggesting that PMCA4 has a regulatory role in the nitric oxide signaling pathway in the heart.

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