Blockade of visual excitation and adaptation in Limulus photoreceptor by GDP-beta-S

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Science  20 Jun 1986:
Vol. 232, Issue 4757, pp. 1543-1545
DOI: 10.1126/science.3487116


Light causes both depolarization and adaptation to light in Limulus ventral photoreceptors. Both visual excitation and adaptation were blocked by guanosine 5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate) (GDP-beta-S), a metabolically stable analog of guanosine 5'-diphosphate (GDP). However, GDP-beta-S did not block the excitation caused by injection of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate into the cell. These results suggest a molecular cascade of visual excitation and adaptation: Light isomerizes the visual pigment rhodopsin, which in turn activates a guanyl nucleotide-binding protein. The binding protein then stimulates production of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate, which causes release of calcium from the endoplasmic reticulum.