, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 445-453

Lipid Metabolism in Photoreceptor Membranes: Regulation and Mechanisms

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Abstract

Lipid metabolism in photoreceptor rod outer segments has attracted considerable attention because of its importance in providing the appropriate environment for supporting an efficient phototransduction mechanism. Recent studies suggest that lipid metabolism in these membranes is involved in the generation of second messengers and in signal transduction mechanisms. Phospholipid turnover is tightly regulated by phosphorylation-dephosphorylation reactions and light, and provides, in turn, with molecules capable of activating protein kinases and cellular processes such as membrane fusion or light-adaptation. These findings suggest that photoreceptor membrane lipids are more than just important structural components of the visual cell rod outer segment.