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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Molecular flow resonance Raman effect from retinal and rhodopsin.

We have performed resonance enhanced Raman measurements of retinal isomers in solution (all-trans, 11-cis, 9-cis, and 13-cis) and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) detergent extracts of bovine rhodopsin near physiological temperatures (17 degrees C). In order to measure these photolabile systems, we have developed a general technique which allows Raman measurements of any photosensitive material. This technique involves imposing a molecular velocity transverse to the Raman exciting laser beam sufficient to ensure that any given molecule moves through the beam so that it has little probability of absorbing a photon. We have also measured the resonance Raman spectra of crystals of the same retinal isomers. The data show that each isomer has a distinct and characteristic Raman spectra and that the spectrum of 11-cis-retinal is quite similar but not identical with that of rhodopsin and similarly for 9-cis-retinal compared with isorhodopsin. In agreement with previous work, the Raman data demonstrate that retinal and opsin are joined by a protonated Schiff base. Due to the fact that the Raman spectra of 11-cis-retinal (solution) and rhodopsin show bands near 998 and 1018 cm(-1), a spectral region previously assigned to C-Me stretching motions, it is suggested that 11-cis-retinal in solution is compased of a mixture of 12-s-trans and 12-s-cis, and that the conformation of rhodopsin is (perhaps distorted) 12-s-trans.[1]


  1. Molecular flow resonance Raman effect from retinal and rhodopsin. Callender, R.H., Doukas, A., Crouch, R., Nakanishi, K. Biochemistry (1976) [Pubmed]
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