Light-dependent compartmentalization of transducin in rod photoreceptors

Mol Neurobiol. 2008 Feb;37(1):44-51. doi: 10.1007/s12035-008-8015-2. Epub 2008 Apr 19.


Three major visual signaling proteins, transducin, arrestin, and recoverin undergo bidirectional translocations between the outer segment and inner compartments of rod photoreceptors in a light-dependent manner. The light-dependent translocation of proteins is believed to contribute to adaptation and neuroprotection of photoreceptor cells. The potential physiological significance and mechanisms of light-controlled protein translocations are at the center of current discussion. In this paper, I outline the latest advances in understanding the mechanisms of bidirectional translocation of transducin and determinants of its steady-state distribution in dark- and light-adapted photoreceptor cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arrestin / metabolism
  • Arrestin / radiation effects
  • Cell Compartmentation / physiology
  • Cell Compartmentation / radiation effects*
  • Dark Adaptation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Light*
  • Protein Transport / physiology
  • Protein Transport / radiation effects
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / radiation effects*
  • Transducin / metabolism*
  • Transducin / radiation effects*
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology
  • Vision, Ocular / radiation effects


  • Arrestin
  • Transducin