Rhodopsin Forms Nanodomains in Rod Outer Segment Disc Membranes of the Cold-Blooded Xenopus laevis

PLoS One. 2015 Oct 22;10(10):e0141114. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141114. eCollection 2015.


Rhodopsin forms nanoscale domains (i.e., nanodomains) in rod outer segment disc membranes from mammalian species. It is unclear whether rhodopsin arranges in a similar manner in amphibian species, which are often used as a model system to investigate the function of rhodopsin and the structure of photoreceptor cells. Moreover, since samples are routinely prepared at low temperatures, it is unclear whether lipid phase separation effects in the membrane promote the observed nanodomain organization of rhodopsin from mammalian species. Rod outer segment disc membranes prepared from the cold-blooded frog Xenopus laevis were investigated by atomic force microscopy to visualize the organization of rhodopsin in the absence of lipid phase separation effects. Atomic force microscopy revealed that rhodopsin nanodomains form similarly as that observed previously in mammalian membranes. Formation of nanodomains in ROS disc membranes is independent of lipid phase separation and conserved among vertebrates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cold Temperature
  • Membrane Microdomains / chemistry*
  • Membrane Microdomains / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Rhodopsin / chemistry*
  • Rhodopsin / metabolism
  • Rod Cell Outer Segment / chemistry*
  • Rod Cell Outer Segment / metabolism
  • Xenopus laevis / growth & development
  • Xenopus laevis / metabolism*


  • Rhodopsin