Plasma membrane Na+-Ca2+ exchange is an essential component of Ca2+ signaling pathways in several tissues. Activity is especially high in the heart where the exchanger is an important regulator of contractility. An expanding exchanger superfamily includes three mammalian Na+-Ca2+ exchanger genes and a number of alternative splicing products. New information indicates that the exchanger protein has nine transmembrane segments. The exchanger, which transports Na+ and Ca2+, is also regulated by these substrates. Some molecular information is available on regulation by Na+ and Ca2+ and by PIP and phosphorylation. Altered expression of the exchanger in pathophysiological states may contribute to various cardiac phenotypes. Use of transgenic approaches is beginning to improve our knowledge of exchanger function.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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