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Biopolymers. 2003;72(3):133-48.

Fourier transform IR spectroscopy study for new insights into molecular properties and activation mechanisms of visual pigment rhodopsin.

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Biophysics Group, Institut für Molekulare Medizin und Zellforschung, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Hermann-Herder-Strasse 9, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany.


Fourier transform IR (FTIR) spectroscopy has been successfully applied in recent years to examine the functional and structural properties of the membrane protein rhodopsin, a prototype G protein coupled receptor. Unlike UV-visible spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy is structurally sensitive. It may give us both global information about the conformation of the protein and very detailed information about the retinal chromophore and all other functional groups, even when these are not directly related to the chromophore. Furthermore, it can be successfully applied to the photointermediates of rhodopsin, including the active receptor species, metarhodopsin II, and its decay products, which is not expected presently or even in the near future from crystallographic approaches. In this review we show how FTIR spectroscopy has significantly contributed to the understanding of very different aspects of rhodopsin, comprising both structural properties and the mechanisms leading to receptor activation and deactivation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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