Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to Rhodopsin: Rhodopsin kinase, photopsin


A deep-red photosensitive pigment contained in the rods of the retina of marine fishes and most higher vertebrates. Also known as retinal pigment; visual purple.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also visual purple), the main visual pigment contained in the retinal rods of vertebrates (with the exception of certain fishes and amphibians during their early stages of development) and invertebrates. Rhodopsin is a complex protein (chromoprotein) made up of 11-cis-retinal (chromophore), a glycoprotein, that is, a protein bonded to sugars, and lipids (the opsin part). The molecular weight of rhodopsin is approximately 40,000 in vertebrates and 70,000 in cephalopods. Rhodopsin forms an integral and highly organized part of the ultra-structure of rods.

The visual act begins with the absorption by rhodopsin of a quantum of light energy (the optimal absorption of rhodopsin is at approximately 500 nanometers). With absorption, isomerization of 11-cis-retinal to all-trans-retinal occurs:

The isomerization leads to a gradual decomposition (photolysis) of the rhodopsin molecule, a change in the ionic transfer in the photoreceptor, and the initiation of an electric signal, which is transmitted to the nerve elements of the retina.

Rhodopsin is regenerated either through the synthesis from 11-cis-retinal and the opsin liberated after photolysis or through the absorption of a second quantum of light energy by one of the intermediate products of photolysis. Regeneration can also occur during the synthesis of new retinal rod distal segments; this is the principal means of regeneration where rods are concerned (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Cycle of the principal changes undergone by rhodopsin in retinal rods

It has been found that the cell membranes of certain halophilic bacteria contain a pigment that is also composed of retinal, a glycoprotein, and lipids. This bacterial rhodopsin, whose structure is yet to be conclusively established, appears to participate in photosynthesis together with other bacterial pigments.


Boroviagin, V. L., M. A. Ostrovskii, and I. B. Fedorovich. “Fotoretseptornaia membrana i nativnyi rodopsin.” Biofizika, 1971, vol. 16, no. 2.
Etingof, R. N., and I. A. Ostapenko. “Rodopsin: struktura i prevrashcheniia.” Uspekhi sovremennoi biologii, 1971, vol. 72, no. 2.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
number Dilution Source OCT4 Abcam ab18976 1/250 Rabbit NANOG Abcam ab21624 1/100 Rabbit SSEA4 Abcam ab16287 1/100 Mouse TRA-1-81 Abcam ab16289 1/100 Mouse TRA-1-60 Abcam ab16288 1/100 Mouse SOX1 Abcam ab87775 1/200 Rabbit PAX6 DSHB 3B5 1/50 Mouse OTX2 Abcam ab21990 1/500 Rabbit LHX2 Santa Cruz sc-81311 1/200 Mouse Biotechnology SIX3 Rockland 600-401-A26 1/500 Rabbit MCM2 Abcam ab4461 1/400 Rabbit CHX10 Millipore ab9016 1/200 Sheep FIBRONECTIN Abcam ab2413 1/200 Rabbit ZO-1 Thermo Fisher 33-9100 1/400 Mouse BRN3 Santa Cruz sc-6026 1/200 Goat Biotechnology AP2 DSHB 3B5a 1/35 Mouse PROX1 Abcam ab101851 1/2000 Rabbit PKC-[alpha] Abcam ab32376 1/2000 Rabbit CRALBP Abcam ab15051 1/500 Mouse Rhodopsin Abcam ab3267 1/200 Mouse S opsin Gift from Dr.
Kumar-Singh, "Engineered zinc finger nuclease-mediated homologous recombination of the human rhodopsin gene," Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, vol.
Light-mediated control of rhodopsin movement in mosquito photoreceptors.
In this way, we are in essence establishing a deeper link between the previously presented work on 'Telepathic Communication and Wave Function Collapse', through the more detailed investigation of a rhodopsin bio-complex sample exposed to distant intention.
Therefore, the current study was carried out to determine the effects of NiONP on the visual functions of the vertebrate eye including visual processes, ERG b-waves, and rhodopsin regeneration using ERG techniques.
White lights will temporarily bleach out the Rhodopsin but red light doesn't, which is why we use red lights at night.
(2011) [Structural development study of a novel pharmacological chaperone for folding-defective rhodopsin mutants responsible for retinitis pigmentosa].
GT038 is a potential treatment for rhodopsin (RHO)-linked autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP), an inherited retinal dystrophy that leads to blindness in most cases.
Not many of us realize that when we see a bright light, the pigment molecule rhodopsin, which is in the outer layer of the rod receptors, is bleached by that light.
[32.] Niv MY, Skrabanek L, Filizola M, Weinstein H (2006) Modeling activated states of GPCRs: the rhodopsin template.