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Vision Res. 1992 Jan;32(1):3-10.

The absorbance spectrum and photosensitivity of a new synthetic "visual pigment" based on 4-hydroxyretinal.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Japan.


The firefly squid, Watasenia scintillans, is the only animal known to possess a visual pigment in which the chromophore is 4-hydroxyretinal. This paper describes the absorbance spectrum and some properties of a synthetic "A4" visual pigment generated from bovine opsin and 4-hydroxyretinal. The absorbance spectrum of this pigment is compared with (a) bovine rhodopsin and (b) a rhodopsin template with the same lambda max as the synthetic visual pigment. The A4 pigment is shown to have an absorbance spectrum that is almost identical to that of a rhodopsin template. It is also shown that the photosensitivity and thermal stability of the A4 pigment, dispersed in detergent micelles, is essentially similar to that of rhodopsin.

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