The PMCA (plasma-membrane Ca2+-ATPase) is a ubiquitously expressed calcium-extruding enzymatic pump important in the control of intracellular calcium concentration. Unlike in non-excitable cells, where PMCA is the only system for calcium extrusion, in excitable cells, such as cardiomyocytes, PMCA has been shown to play only a minor role in calcium homoeostasis compared with the NCX (sodium/calcium exchanger), another system of calcium extrusion. However, increasing evidence points to an important role for PMCA in signal transduction; of particular interest in cardiac physiology is the modulation of nNOS (neuronal nitric oxide synthase) by isoform 4b of PMCA. In the present paper, we will discuss recent advances that support a key role for PMCA4 in modulating the nitric oxide signalling pathway in the heart.

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