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The vertebrate phototransduction cascade: amplification and termination mechanisms

Chapter
Part of the Reviews of Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology book series (REVIEWS, volume 154)

Abstract

The biochemical cascade which transduces light into a neuronal signal in retinal photoreceptors is a heterotrimeric GTP-binding protein (G protein) signaling pathway called phototransduction. Works from psychophysicists, electrophysiologists, biochemists, and geneticists over several decades have come together to shape our understanding of how photon absorption leads to photoreceptor membrane hyperpolarization. The insights of phototransduction provide the foundation for a mechanistic account of signaling from many other G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) found throughout nature. The application of reverse genetic techniques has strengthened many historic findings and helped to describe this pathway at greater molecular details. However, many important questions remain to be answered.

Keywords

Outer Segment Visual Pigment Cone Pigment Cone Opsin Flash Strength 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

AFM

Atomic force microscopy

Arr−/−

Homozygous arrestin knockout

BAPTA

1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetic acid

cGMP

3′,5′ Cyclic guanosine monophosphate

CNBD

Cyclic nucleotide binding domain

CNG

Cyclic nucleotide-gated

DEP

Disheveled, EGL-10, Pleckstrin

ERG

Electroretinography

EM

Electron microscopy

GDP

Guanosine diphosphate

GMP

Guanosine monophosphate

GTP

Guanosine triphosphate

GPCR

G protein-coupled receptor

GC

Guanylate cyclase

GCAP

Guanylate cyclase-activating protein

GCAP−/−

Homozygous GCAP knockout

GAP

GTPase-accelerating protein

GRK

G protein-coupled receptor kinase

GGL

G protein γ-like

GTPγS

Guanosine-5′-(γ-thio)-triphosphate

Km

Michaelis–Menten constant

MUV

Mouse ultraviolet visual pigment

NCKX

Na+/Ca2+,K+ exchanger

PDE

Phosphodiesterase

P*

Activated phosphodiesterase

R

Rhodopsin

R*

Metarhodopsin II (activated form of rhodopsin)

RCSB

Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics

RK−/−

Homozygous rhodopsin kinase knockout

Rv−/−

Recoverin knockout

Rho+/−

Heterozygous rhodopsin knockout

R9AP

RGS9 anchoring protein

RGS

Regulator of G protein signaling

RNA

Ribonucleic acid

SB

Schiff base

SW

Switch region

T

Heterotrimeric transducin

T*

Activated transducin

τD

Dominant time constant of recovery

τrec

Recovery constant in dim flash response

Vmax

Maximal rate of an enzymatic reaction

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© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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