Absorption spectra of the hybrid pigments responsible for anomalous color vision

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Science  16 Oct 1992:
Vol. 258, Issue 5081, pp. 464-466
DOI: 10.1126/science.1411542


Unequal homologous recombination events between green and red cone pigment genes produce the red-green or green-red hybrid pigment genes found in many individuals with variant color vision. Photobleaching difference absorption spectroscopy of hybrid pigments produced in cultured cells shows that the spectral sensitivity of each hybrid pigment is intermediate between the parental green and red pigment sensitivities. Amino acids encoded by exons 2, 3, 4, and 5 produce spectral shifts at the wavelength of maximal absorbance of 0 to 4, 0 to 4, 3 to 4, and 15 to 21 nanometers, respectively, the exact value depending on the identities of amino acids elsewhere in the hybrid.

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