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Structural view of G protein-coupled receptor signaling in the retinal rod outer segment

October 2022

"Visual phototransduction is the most extensively studied G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling pathway because of its quantifiable stimulus, non-redundancy of genes, and immense importance in vision. We summarize recent discoveries that have advanced our understanding of rod outer segment (ROS) morphology and the pathological basis of retinal diseases. We have combined recently published cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) data on the ROS with structural knowledge on individual proteins to define the precise spatial limitations under which phototransduction occurs. Although hypothetical, the reconstruction of the rod phototransduction system highlights the potential roles of phosphodiesterase 6 (PDE6) and guanylate cyclases (GCs) in maintaining the spacing between ROS discs, suggesting a plausible mechanism by which intrinsic optical signals are generated in the retina."

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