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Science 306 (5704): 2050-2051

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

CELL BIOLOGY:
Oxygen Sensing: It's a Gas!

Toshinori Hoshi and Sukhamay Lahiri

Oxygen-sensing glomus cells in the carotid body of the carotid artery are responsible for detecting low oxygen levels and for inducing a compensatory increase in respiration rate. However, the molecular mechanism of oxygen sensing in these glomus cells has remained enigmatic. In their Perspective, Hoshi and Lahiri explore new work that identifies the oxygen sensor as a cooperative effort between hemoxygenase, the gas it produces (CO), and the BK channels of glomus cells, which respond to CO by remaining open (Williams et al.).


The authors are in the Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. E-mail: hoshi{at}hoshi.org; lahiri{at}mail.med.upenn.edu


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