G protein-coupled receptor rhodopsin: a prospectus

Annu Rev Physiol. 2003:65:851-79. doi: 10.1146/annurev.physiol.65.092101.142611. Epub 2002 May 1.


Rhodopsin is a retinal photoreceptor protein of bipartite structure consisting of the transmembrane protein opsin and a light-sensitive chromophore 11-cis-retinal, linked to opsin via a protonated Schiff base. Studies on rhodopsin have unveiled many structural and functional features that are common to a large and pharmacologically important group of proteins from the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily, of which rhodopsin is the best-studied member. In this work, we focus on structural features of rhodopsin as revealed by many biochemical and structural investigations. In particular, the high-resolution structure of bovine rhodopsin provides a template for understanding how GPCRs work. We describe the sensitivity and complexity of rhodopsin that lead to its important role in vision.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / chemistry*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Rhodopsin / chemistry*
  • Rhodopsin / metabolism*


  • Rhodopsin
  • GTP-Binding Proteins