In previous studies, we developed a new method for detecting tertiary interactions in rhodopsin using split receptors and disulfide cross-linking. Cysteines are engineered into separate fragments of the split opsin, the disulfide bond can be formed between the juxtaposed residues by treatment with Cu(phen)3(2+), and then disulfide cross-links can be detected on the gel by an electrophoretic mobility shift. In this study, we utilized this method to examine the cross-linking reactions between native cysteines in the ground state and after photoexcitation of rhodopsin. In the dark, Cys140 on transmembrane segment (TM) 3 cross-links to Cys222 on TM5. After photobleaching, Cys140 cross-links to Cys316 and Cys222, and the rate of the cross-linking reaction between Cys140 and Cys222 significantly increases.