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Arrestin was identified in ciliary photoreceptors of Pecten irradians, and its role in terminating the light response was established electrophysiologically. Downstream effectors in these unusual visual cells diverge from both microvillar photoreceptors and rods and cones; the finding that key regulatory mechanisms of the early steps of visual excitation are conserved across such distant lineages of photoreceptors underscores that a common blueprint for phototransduction exists across metazoa. Arrestin was detected by Western blot analysis of retinal lysates, and localized in ciliary photoreceptors by immunostaining of whole-eye cryosections and dissociated cells. Two arrestin isoforms were molecularly identified by PCR; these present the canonical N- and C-arrestin domains, and are identical at the nucleotide level over much of their sequence. A high degree of homology to various β-arrestins (up to 70% amino acid identity) was found. In situ hybridization localized the two transcripts within the retina, but failed to reveal finer spatial segregation, possibly because of insufficient differences between the riboprobes. Intracellular dialysis of anti arrestin antibodies into voltage-clamped ciliary photoreceptors produced a gradual slow-down of the photocurrent falling phase, leaving a tail that decayed over many seconds after light termination. The antibodies also caused spectrally neutral flashes to elicit prolonged aftercurrents in the absence of large metarhodopsin accumulation; such aftercurrents could be quenched by chromatic illumination that photoconverts metarhodopsin back to rhodopsin. These observations indicate that the antibodies depleted functionally available arrestin, and implicate this molecule in the deactivation of the photoresponse at the rhodopsin level.


Maria Del Pilar Gomez, Lady Espinosa, Nelson Ramirez, Enrico Nasi. Arrestin in ciliary invertebrate photoreceptors: molecular identification and functional analysis in vivo. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2011 Feb 2;31(5):1811-9

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PMID: 21289191

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