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Trends Biochem Sci. 1999 Aug;24(8):300-5.

How color visual pigments are tuned.

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Dept of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


The absorption maximum of the retinal chromophore in color visual pigments is tuned by interactions with the protein (opsin) to which it is bound. Recent advances in the expression of rhodopsin-like transmembrane receptors and in spectroscopic techniques have allowed us to measure resonance Raman vibrational spectra of the retinal chromophore in recombinant visual pigments to examine the molecular basis of this spectral tuning. The dominant physical mechanism responsible for the opsin shift in color vision is the interaction of dipolar amino acid residues with the ground- and excited-state charge distributions of the chromophore.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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