The G protein-coupled receptor rhodopsin in the native membrane

FEBS Lett. 2004 Apr 30;564(3):281-288. doi: 10.1016/S0014-5793(04)00194-2.


The higher-order structure of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in membranes may involve dimerization and formation of even larger oligomeric complexes. Here, we have investigated the organization of the prototypical GPCR rhodopsin in its native membrane by electron and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Disc membranes from mice were isolated and observed by AFM at room temperature. In all experimental conditions, rhodopsin forms structural dimers organized in paracrystalline arrays. A semi-empirical molecular model for the rhodopsin paracrystal is presented validating our previously reported results. Finally, we compare our model with other currently available models describing the supramolecular structure of GPCRs in the membrane.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry*
  • Dimerization
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / chemistry*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / ultrastructure*
  • Rhodopsin / chemistry*
  • Rhodopsin / genetics
  • Rhodopsin / ultrastructure*
  • Rod Cell Outer Segment / ultrastructure


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Rhodopsin