Calcium Sensor Helps Us See the Stars; New Insight Into How the Protein Calmodulin Interacts With an Ion Channel in the Eye Might Explain How Our Eyes Achieve Remarkable Sensitivity to Dim Light

Using cryo-electron microscopy and mass spectrometry, researchers from the Paul Scherrer Instiute (PSI) in Switzerland have deciphered the structure of an ion channel found in the eye while it interacts with the protein calmodulin (image)--a structure that has eluded scientists for three decades. The scientists believe that this interaction could explain how our eyes can achieve such remarkable sensitivity to dim light. Their results were published online in PNAS on March 3, 2023. The article is titled “Structural Basis of Calmodulin Modulation of the Rod Cyclic Nucleotide-Gated Channel.”

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