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Science. 2000 Jun 23;288(5474):2209-12.

Movement of retinal along the visual transduction path.

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Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.


Movement of the ligand/receptor complex in rhodopsin (Rh) has been traced. Bleaching of diazoketo rhodopsin (DK-Rh) containing 11-cis-3-diazo-4-oxo-retinal yields batho-, lumi-, meta-I-, and meta-II-Rh intermediates corresponding to those of native Rh but at lower temperatures. Photoaffinity labeling of DK-Rh and these bleaching intermediates shows that the ionone ring cross-links to tryptophan-265 on helix F in DK-Rh and batho-Rh, and to alanine-169 on helix D in lumi-, meta-I-, and meta-II-Rh intermediates. It is likely that these movements involving a flip-over of the chromophoric ring trigger changes in cytoplasmic membrane loops resulting in heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G protein) activation.

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