Sachse et al. highlight work that reveals a Na+-dependent inactivation mechanism in the Na+/K+ pump.
Vertebrate photoreceptors need to distinguish light signals from background noise to convey visual information to downstream bipolar cells. By affecting both signal and noise, Astakhova et al. find that increases in intracellular cAMP can improve the signal-to-noise ratio by twofold.
Electrical slow waves in the small intestine are generated by pacemaker cells called interstitial cells of Cajal. Drumm et al. record clusters of Ca2+ transients in these cells that are entrained by voltage-dependent Ca2+ entry and which define the duration of the electrical slow waves.
Na/K pump inactivation, subsarcolemmal Na measurements, and cytoplasmic ion turnover kinetics contradict restricted Na spaces in murine cardiac myocytes
The Na/K pump exports cytoplasmic Na ions while importing K ions, and its activity is thought to be affected by restricted intracellular Na diffusion in cardiac myocytes. Lu and Hilgemann find instead that the pump can enter an inactivated state and that inactivation can be relieved by cytoplasmic Na.