Phototransduction Motifs and Variations

King Wai Yau, Roger C. Hardie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Seeing begins in the photoreceptors, where light is absorbed and signaled to the nervous system. Throughout the animal kingdom, photoreceptors are diverse in design and purpose. Nonetheless, phototransduction-the mechanism by which absorbed photons are converted into an electrical response-is highly conserved and based almost exclusively on a single class of photoproteins, the opsins. In this Review, we survey the G protein-coupled signaling cascades downstream from opsins in photoreceptors across vertebrate and invertebrate species, noting their similarities as well as differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-264
Number of pages19
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 16 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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