Raman microscope and quantum yield studies on the primary photochemistry of A2-visual pigments

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The 77-K resonance Raman vibrational spectrum of intact goldfish rod photoreceptors containing 3,4-dehydro (A2) retinal is dominated by scattering from the 9-cis component of the steady state at all excitation wavelengths. Intact goldfish photoreceptors were regenerated with an A1-retinal chromophore to determine whether this behavior is caused by the protein or the chromophore. The resulting Raman spectrum was typical of an A1-pigment exhibiting significant scattering from all three components of the steady state: rhodopsin, bathorhodopsin, and isorhodopsin. Furthermore, regeneration of bovine opsin with A2-retinal produces a characteristic "A2-Raman spectrum" that is dominated by scattering from the 9-cis pigment. We conclude that the differences between the Raman spectra of the A1-and A2-pigments are caused by some intrinsic difference in the photochemical properties of the retinal chromophores. To quantitate these observations, the 77-K adsorption spectra and the photochemical quantum yields (phi) of the native A2-goldfish and the regenerated A2-bovine pigments were measured. In the goldfish A2-pigment, the value of phi 4 (9-cis----trans) is 0.05; phi 3 (trans----9-cis) is 0.10; and phi 2 (trans----11-cis) is 0.35. By contrast, in the bovine A1-pigment, these quantum yields are 0.10, 0.053, and 0.50, respectively. The reduced value of phi 4 and the increased value of phi 3 in the goldfish pigment confirms that the 9-cis isomer is photochemically more stable in A2-pigments. © 1987, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.




Barry, B., Mathies, R. A., Pardoen, J. A., & Lugtenburg, J. (1987). Raman microscope and quantum yield studies on the primary photochemistry of A2-visual pigments. Biophysical Journal, 52(4), 603–610. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(87)83250-2

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