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Science. 2000 Aug 4;289(5480):733-4.

Structure. Rhodopsin sees the light.

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  • 1Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, 94143, USA.


Members of the seven transmembrane receptor superfamily bind a remarkable variety of ligands, from neurotransmitters to odorants, and activate a spectacular array of G protein signaling molecules. These G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are important in many cellular functions and so there has been great interest in elucidating how they transmit their signals to the interior of the cell after activation by ligand. As Bourne and Meng explain in their Perspective, the molecular movements of activated GPCRs are becoming clear now that the first crystal structure of a GPCR (rhodopsin, the light-trapping receptor found in the retina of the eye) has been reported (Palczweski et al.).

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