Quenching the Spark in the Heart

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Science  02 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5313, pp. 755-756
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5313.755

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At each heart beat, the cells in the heart contract in response to electrical excitation. This process is mediated by a multistep pathway that results in an increase in calcium concentration. In his Perspective, Yue discusses a report in this week's issue by G&oacutemez et al. (p. 800) that identifies the coupling step in this pathway that is defective in heart failure.