Retinal arrestin is the essential protein for the termination of the light response in vertebrate rod outer segments. It plays an important role in quenching the light-induced enzyme cascade by its ability to bind to phosphorylated light-activated rhodopsin (P-Rh*). Arrestins are found in various G-protein-coupled amplification cascades. Here we report on the three-dimensional structure of bovine arrestin (relative molecular mass, 45,300) at 3.3 A resolution. The crystal structure comprises two domains of antiparallel beta-sheets connected through a hinge region and one short alpha-helix on the back of the amino-terminal fold. The binding region for phosphorylated light-activated rhodopsin is located at the N-terminal domain, as indicated by the docking of the photoreceptor to the three-dimensional structure of arrestin. This agrees with the interpretation of binding studies on partially digested and mutated arrestin.