Na:Ca Stoichiometry and Cytosolic Ca-Dependent Activation of NCX in Intact Cardiomyocytes

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We are studying both Na:Ca exchange stoichiometry and cytosolic [Ca] ([Ca]i)-dependent regulation of Na–Ca exchange (NCX) in intact rabbit ventricular myocytes. Analysis of NCX fluxes in subcellular systems strongly supports a dominant 3Na:1Ca exchange, and our measurements in intact cells confirm this. However, in intact native cells, local ion gradients and other factors complicate the process of inferring stoichiometry. From a functional viewpoint, NCX stoichiometry is near 3:1 but is affected by ion accumulation/depletion as well as non-NCX fluxes. We and others have viewed [Ca]i-dependent NCX regulation as a static process (dependent on instantaneous local [Ca]i). However, evidence from subcellular and expression systems shows the process to be dynamic, and our observations confirm this to be the case in intact cardiac cells as well.

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