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Interaction of rhodopsin with the G-protein, transducin.


Hargrave PA , Hamm HE , Hofmann KP , . BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. 1993 1 ; 15(1). 43-50


Rhodopsin, upon activation by light, transduces the photon signal by activation of the G-protein, transducin. The well-studied rhodopsin/transducin system serves as a model for the understanding of signal transduction by the large class of G-protein-coupled receptors. The interactive form of rhodopsin, R*, is conformationally similar or identical to rhodopsin’s photolysis intermediate Metarhodopsin II (MII). Formation of MII requires deprotonation of rhodopsin’s protonated Schiff base which appears to facilitate some opening of the rhodopsin structure. This allows a change in conformation at rhodopsin’s cytoplasmic surface that provides binding sites for transducin. Rhodopsin’s 2nd, 3rd and putative 4th cytoplasmic loops bind transducin at sites including transducin’s 5 kDa carboxyl-terminal region. Site-specific mutagenesis of rhodopsin is being used to distinguish sites on rhodopsin’s surface that are important in binding transducin from those that function in activating transducin. These observations are consistent with and extend studies on the action of other G-protein-coupled receptors and their interactions with their respective G proteins.