Rhodopsin arginine-135 mutants are phosphorylated by rhodopsin kinase and bind arrestin in the absence of 11-cis-retinal

Biochemistry. 1998 Apr 7;37(14):4869-74. doi: 10.1021/bi9731100.


Arginine-135, located at the border between the third transmembrane domain and the second cytoplasmic loop of rhodopsin, is one of the most highly conserved amino acids in the family of G protein-coupled receptors. The effect of mutation at Arg-135 on the ability of rhodopsin to undergo desensitization was investigated. Four mutants, R135K, R135Q, R135A, and R135L, were examined for their ability to be phosphorylated by rhodopsin kinase, to bind arrestin, and to activate the rod cell G protein, transducin (Gt). All of the mutants were phosphorylated, bound arrestin, and were able to activate Gt when reconstituted with 11-cis-retinal. Surprisingly, several of the mutants could be phosphorylated by rhodopsin kinase and could bind arrestin in the absence of 11-cis-retinal but were not able to activate Gt. These observations represent the first demonstration of a mutant G protein-coupled receptor that assumes a conformation able to interact with its G protein-coupled receptor kinase and arrestin, but not with its G protein, in the absence of ligand.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arginine / genetics
  • Arginine / metabolism*
  • Arrestin / metabolism*
  • Cattle
  • Cell Line
  • Eye Proteins*
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 1
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Retinaldehyde / metabolism
  • Rhodopsin / genetics
  • Rhodopsin / metabolism*


  • Arrestin
  • Eye Proteins
  • Rhodopsin
  • Arginine
  • Protein Kinases
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 1
  • GRK1 protein, human
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Retinaldehyde