, Volume 196, Issue 1, pp 51-59

Identification and characterization of a protostome homologue of peropsin from a jumping spider

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Peropsin, a member of the opsin family, has characteristics of two functionally distinct opsin-groups, that is, amino acid residues conserved among opsins for light-sensing and a retinal-photoisomerase-like molecular property. Although such a bilateral feature of peropsin seems to be important for understanding the diversity of the opsin family, previous studies have been limited to higher deuterostome, vertebrate and amphioxus peropsins. Here, we report a protostome peropsin homologue from a jumping spider. We found a spider opsin that shares amino acid homology and conserved amino acid residues with known peropsins. The spider opsin-based pigment heterologously expressed in cultured cells exhibited photoisomerase-like isomerization characteristics and a bistable nature. Based on the characteristics of both the amino acid homology and its photochemical properties, we concluded that the spider opsin is the first protostome peropsin homologue. These results show that peropsin existed before the deuterostome–protostome split like other members of the opsin family. In addition, the spider peropsin was localized to non-visual cells in the retina, and fluorescence from reduced retinal chromophore was also observed in the region where peropsin was localized. These findings provide the first demonstration that the peropsin can form a photosensitive pigment in vivo and underlie non-visual function.