• Nicholas J. P. Ryba
  • Matthew D. Hall
  • John B. C. Findlay
Part of the Applications of Molecular Genetics to Pharmacology book series


The initial determination of the primary structure of bovine (Ovchinnikov, 1982; Hargrave et al., 1983) and ovine (Findlay et al., 1981; Brett and Findlay, 1983) opsins and parts of the equine and porcine proteins (Pappin and Findlay, 1984) by the protein sequencing approach was rapidly followed by the derivation of the structure of a number of other species from their nucleotide sequences (for the latest compilation, see Figure 1.1). Among G-protein receptors, the rhodopsins have been well characterized by physical techniques; the biochemistry related to their function has also been documented more completely than for the others. This chapter will describe the amalgamation of the information obtained so far into a representation of the structure and its implications for the function of the visual pigment. In the absence of a crystallographically derived structure, the crude structural model we describe can be used predictively and to analyze results of both physical and mutagenic studies of rhodopsin structure and function. Moreover, it has relevance for the whole superfamily of G-protein-linked receptors, as it is likely that the structural framework will be well preserved. The final goal in all this work is a detailed understanding of the structure of rhodopsin and of the molecular mechanisms through which its functional attributes are expressed. Its significance extends not only to G-protein-linked receptors as a superfamily (Findlay and Eliopoulos, 1991) but to integral membrane proteins in general.


Schiff Base Visual Pigment Opsin Gene Bovine Rhodopsin Rhodopsin Gene 
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© Birkhäuser Boston 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas J. P. Ryba
  • Matthew D. Hall
  • John B. C. Findlay

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