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Scallop retinas contain ciliary photoreceptor cells that respond to light by hyperpolarization like vertebrate rods and cones, but the response is generated by a different phototransduction cascade from those of rods and cones. To elucidate the cascade, we investigated a visual pigment and a G-protein functioning in the hyperpolarizing cell. Sequencing of cDNAs and in situ hybridization experiments showed that the hyperpolarizing cells express a novel subtype of visual pigment, which showed significant differences in amino acid sequence from other visual pigments. Cloning cDNA genes of G-protein and immunohistochemical analysis revealed the presence of an alpha subunit of a Go type G-protein, 83% identical in amino acid sequence to mammalian Go(alpha) in the nervous system, in the photoreceptive region of the cells. The results demonstrate that a novel, Go-mediated, phototransduction cascade is present in the hyperpolarizing cells. The phototransduction cascade in the scallop hyperpolarizing cell provides an alternative system to investigate Go-mediated transduction pathways in the nervous system. Molecular phylogenetic analysis strongly suggests that the Go-mediated phototransduction system emerged before the divergence of animals into vertebrate and invertebrate in the course of evolution.


D Kojima, A Terakita, T Ishikawa, Y Tsukahara, A Maeda, Y Shichida. A novel Go-mediated phototransduction cascade in scallop visual cells. The Journal of biological chemistry. 1997 Sep 12;272(37):22979-82

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PMID: 9287291

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