Molecular forms of human rhodopsin kinase (GRK1)

J Biol Chem. 1998 Feb 27;273(9):5124-31. doi: 10.1074/jbc.273.9.5124.


The G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) are critical enzymes in the desensitization of activated G protein-coupled receptors. Six members of the GRK family have been identified to date. Among these enzymes, GRK1 (rhodopsin kinase) is involved in phototransduction and is the most specialized of the family. GRK1 phosphorylates photoactivated rhodopsin, initiating steps in its deactivation. In this study, we found that human retina expressed all GRKs except GRK4. Based on results of molecular cloning and immunolocalization, it appears that both rod and cone photoreceptors express GRK1. This conclusion was supported by the cloning of only GRK1 from cone-dominated chicken retina. Human photoreceptors also transcribe a splice variant of GRK1, which differs in its C-terminal region next to the catalytic domain. This novel variant, GRK1b, is produced by retention of the last intron. mRNA encoding GRK1b is exported to the cytosol; however, the level of the protein is relatively low compared with GRK1 (now called GRK1a), and GRK1b appears to have very low catalytic activity. Thus, these studies suggest that rods and cones, express the same form of GRK1.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Base Sequence
  • Chickens
  • Exons
  • Eye Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Eye Proteins / genetics
  • Eye Proteins / immunology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Fovea Centralis
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 1
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Photoreceptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Protein Kinases / biosynthesis*
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Kinases / immunology
  • RNA, Messenger / isolation & purification
  • Species Specificity
  • Vision, Ocular


  • Eye Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Protein Kinases
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 1
  • GRK1 protein, human

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF019764
  • GENBANK/AF019765
  • GENBANK/AF019766