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Proteins. 2004 Nov 1;57(2):392-9.

Patterns of retinal light absorption related to retinitis pigmentosa mutants from in silico model structures of rhodopsin.

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Laboratorio de Química Computacional y Teórica, Facultad de Química, Universidad de la Habana, Havana, Cuba.


Changes induced by mutations in rhodopsin that are associated with the degenerative visual disease retinitis pigmentosa result in an altered pattern of light absorption according to quantum mechanical simulations and reference experimental works. Eleven single-point mutations associated with retinitis pigmentosa at and in the proximity to the retinal binding pocket of rhodopsin have been modeled in silico and their spectra calculated with the NDOL (Neglect of Differential Overlap accounting L azimuthal quantum number) a priori method. The altered pattern of absorption found would lead to cumulative consequences in energy dissipation with aging. Different energy balances in the case of mutants at the very molecular level, compared to native nonmutated rhodopsin, can cause permanent cellular stress and would play a role in the progression of the retine degenerative process. It could explain the worsening of the pathological condition mostly in adults and suggests the probable beneficial effects of using quenching drugs and protection devices against excess of light in the early stages of life for avoiding or reducing potential damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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