Rhodopsin mutants that bind but fail to activate transducin

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Science  05 Oct 1990:
Vol. 250, Issue 4977, pp. 123-125
DOI: 10.1126/science.2218504


Rhodopsin is a member of a family of receptors that contain seven transmembrane helices and are coupled to G proteins. The nature of the interactions between rhodopsin mutants and the G protein, transduction (Gt), was investigated by flash photolysis in order to monitor directly Gt binding and dissociation. Three mutant opsins with alterations in their cytoplasmic loops bound 11-cis-retinal to yield pigments with native rhodopsin absorption spectra, but they failed to stimulate the guanosine triphosphatase activity of Gt. The opsin mutations included reversal of a charged pair conserved in all G protein-coupled receptors at the cytoplasmic border of the third transmembrane helix (mutant CD1), replacement of 13 amino acids in the second cytoplasmic loop (mutant CD2), and deletion of 13 amino acids from the third cytoplasmic loop (mutant EF1). Whereas mutant CD1 failed to bind Gt, mutants CD2 and EF1 showed normal Gt binding but failed to release Gt in the presence of guanosine triphosphate. Therefore, it appears that at least the second and third cytoplasmic loops of rhodopsin are required for activation of bound Gt.

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