1932

Abstract

Rhodopsin is a specialized G protein–coupled receptor (GPCR) found in vertebrate rod cells. Absorption of light by its 11- retinal chromophore leads to rapid photochemical isomerization and receptor activation. Recent results from protein crystallography and NMR spectroscopy show how structural changes on the extracellular side of rhodopsin induced by retinal isomerization are coupled to the motion of membrane-spanning helices to create a G protein binding pocket on the intracellular side of the receptor. The signaling pathway provides a comprehensive explanation for the conservation of specific amino acids and structural motifs across the class A family of GPCRs, as well as for the conservation of selected residues within the visual receptor subfamily. The emerging model of activation indicates that, rather than being unique, the visual receptors provide a basis for understanding the common structural and dynamic elements in the class A GPCRs.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-biophys-101209-104901
2010-06-09
2024-04-20
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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