The bovine rod outer segment guanylate cyclase, ROS-GC, is present in both outer segment and synaptic layers of the retina

J Mol Neurosci. 1995;6(3):211-22. doi: 10.1007/BF02736766.


Cyclic-GMP, which plays a pivotal role in visual transduction in the vertebrate retina, is synthesized by guanylate cyclase. The purpose of this study was to localize a rod outer segment-derived particulate guanylate cyclase (ROS-GC) to the retina of several species that have different populations of rods and cones. A rabbit antibody was raised against a synthetic peptide, corresponding to the sequence A107-L125 of bovine ROS-GC. Western blot analysis showed a single immunoreactive band at about 115 kDa with bovine rod outer segments but not with human rod outer segments. Light microscopic immunocytochemistry of tissue sections revealed immunoreactivity in the outer segment layer and in the outer and inner plexiform layers. The rod-rich rat retina showed uniform immunolabeling of outer segments; the cone-containing cat retina showed heavily labeled cone outer segments and lighter labeling of rod outer segments; the cone-rich chicken retina showed a uniformly and intensely labeled outer segment layer. Preincubation of the primary antibody with the peptide completely blocked antibody binding. Electron microscopic immunocytochemistry of the cat retina confirmed the presence of guanylate cyclase in photoreceptor outer segments and demonstrated its association with disk and plasma membranes. These data support a concept in which guanylate cyclase is much more concentrated in the outer segments of cones than rods. The immunolabeling of the plexiform layers suggests that the particulate guanylate cyclase is not unique to the photoreceptor outer segments, and may also play a role in transduction processes of retinal synapses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cattle
  • Chickens
  • Guanylate Cyclase / analysis*
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / enzymology*
  • Retina / ultrastructure
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / enzymology
  • Rod Cell Outer Segment / enzymology*
  • Rod Cell Outer Segment / ultrastructure
  • Synapses / enzymology*


  • Guanylate Cyclase