Photoactivated Conformational Changes in Rhodopsin: A Time-Resolved Spin Label Study

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Abstract

Rhodopsin has been selectively spin-labeled near the cytoplasmic termini of helices C and G. Photoactivation with a light flash induces an electron paramagnetic resonance spectral change in the millisecond time domain, coincident with the appearance of the active metarhodopsin II intermediate. The spectral change is consistent with a small movement near the cytoplasmic termination of the C helix and reverses upon formation of the MIII state. These results provide an important link between the optical changes associated with the retinal chromophore and protein conformational states.

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