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Linear dichroism of rhodopsin in air-water interface films


Air-water interface films of purified cattle rhodopsin and defined phospholipids are formed by the osmotic lysis of reconstituted membrane vesicles. The interface films thus formed consist of a phospholipid monolayer containing vesicle membrane fragments. Rhodopsin molecules at the interface are restricted within the membrane fragments where they are spectrophotometrically intact and capable of undergoing photoregeneration and chemical regeneration. Multilayers of up to 8 layers can be built from these interface films. The visible absorption band of rhodopsin in these multilayers is linearly dichroic. Quantitative analysis of the linear dichroism reveals that the dipole moment of transition of the retinal chromophore in rhodopsin forms an angle of 15°±4° with the plane of the membrane fragments in the interface film. This orientation of the chromophore relative to the plane of the membrane is essentially the same as that observed in the intact retina. Thus, the orientation of rhodopsin in the interface films is similar to that in the intact disc membranes.

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Korenbrot, J.I., Jones, O. Linear dichroism of rhodopsin in air-water interface films. J. Membrain Biol. 46, 239–254 (1979).

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  • Absorption Band
  • Retina
  • Dipole Moment
  • Human Physiology
  • Membrane Vesicle