Inherent chirality of the retinal chromophore in rhodopsin-A nonempirical theoretical analysis of chiroptical data

Chirality. 2001 Jan;13(1):13-23. doi: 10.1002/1520-636X(2001)13:1<13::AID-CHIR4>3.0.CO;2-3.


CASSCF and GAUSSIAN CIS calculations were performed on ground and excited states of different conformations of 11-cis-retinal protonated Schiff bases, the chromophore of rhodopsin, in order to study their chiroptical properties and attempt a correlation between absolute conformation and CD-spectral data. Geometries were taken from molecular models, from published rhodopsin models, and from retinal conformations obtained from molecular dynamics with geometry restraints. In all the cases studied we find that a positive sense of twist about the C12-C13 bond correlates with a calculated positive CD of the long wavelength absorption band; the twist of the C6-C7 bond modulates this primary contribution of the C12-C13 bond. The correlation of the beta-band with structural features is not straightforward. Calculations on bathorhodopsin lend support to the idea that this intermediate is a highly twisted all-trans-conformation.

MeSH terms

  • Circular Dichroism
  • Retinaldehyde / chemistry*
  • Rhodopsin / chemistry*
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Rhodopsin
  • Retinaldehyde