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Science 288 (5474): 2209-2212

Copyright © 2000 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Movement of Retinal Along the Visual Transduction Path

Babak Borhan, 1 Maria L. Souto, 1 Hiroo Imai, 2 Yoshinori Shichida, 2 Koji Nakanishi 1*

Movement of the ligand/receptor complex in rhodopsin (Rh) has been traced. Bleaching of diazoketo rhodopsin (DK-Rh) containing 11-cis-3-diazo-4-oxo-retinal yields batho-, lumi-, meta-I-, and meta-II-Rh intermediates corresponding to those of native Rh but at lower temperatures. Photoaffinity labeling of DK-Rh and these bleaching intermediates shows that the ionone ring cross-links to tryptophan-265 on helix F in DK-Rh and batho-Rh, and to alanine-169 on helix D in lumi-, meta-I-, and meta-II-Rh intermediates. It is likely that these movements involving a flip-over of the chromophoric ring trigger changes in cytoplasmic membrane loops resulting in heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G protein) activation.

1 Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.
2 Department of Biophysics, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: kn5{at}

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