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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 May;1837(5):664-73. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2013.08.009. Epub 2013 Sep 7.

Cone visual pigments.

Author information

1
Department of Biophysics, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.
2
Department of Biophysics, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan. Electronic address: shichida@rh.biophys.kyoto-u.ac.jp.

Abstract

Cone visual pigments are visual opsins that are present in vertebrate cone photoreceptor cells and act as photoreceptor molecules responsible for photopic vision. Like the rod visual pigment rhodopsin, which is responsible for scotopic vision, cone visual pigments contain the chromophore 11-cis-retinal, which undergoes cis-trans isomerization resulting in the induction of conformational changes of the protein moiety to form a G protein-activating state. There are multiple types of cone visual pigments with different absorption maxima, which are the molecular basis of color discrimination in animals. Cone visual pigments form a phylogenetic sister group with non-visual opsin groups such as pinopsin, VA opsin, parapinopsin and parietopsin groups. Cone visual pigments diverged into four groups with different absorption maxima, and the rhodopsin group diverged from one of the four groups of cone visual pigments. The photochemical behavior of cone visual pigments is similar to that of pinopsin but considerably different from those of other non-visual opsins. G protein activation efficiency of cone visual pigments is also comparable to that of pinopsin but higher than that of the other non-visual opsins. Recent measurements with sufficient time-resolution demonstrated that G protein activation efficiency of cone visual pigments is lower than that of rhodopsin, which is one of the molecular bases for the lower amplification of cones compared to rods. In this review, the uniqueness of cone visual pigments is shown by comparison of their molecular properties with those of non-visual opsins and rhodopsin. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Retinal Proteins - You can teach an old dog new tricks.

KEYWORDS:

Color vision; G-protein coupled receptors; Molecular evolution; Opsin family; Retina; Rhodopsin

PMID:
24021171
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbabio.2013.08.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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