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Z Med Phys. 2001;11(4):217-25.

[To see from light--biophysics of visual signal transduction].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Institut für Medizinische Physik und Biophysik, Universitätsklinikum Charité, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.,


To perform their functions within an organism, or to adapt to the environment as single cells, living cells react to signals detected by highly specialized receptor proteins. These include the G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), a receptor family, which comprises more than 1000 members, and is of outstanding significance in basic research and medical application. An archetype of a GPCR is the visual pigment rhodopsin, the photoreceptor of the retinal rod cell. Biophysical methods have largely contributed to the elucidation of rhodopsin structure and function, as well as of the corresponding signal cascade. This article discusses some of the more recent developments.

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