Here we review the application of modern spectral methods for the study of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) using rhodopsin as a prototype. Because X-ray analysis gives us immobile snapshots of protein conformations, it is imperative to apply spectroscopic methods for elucidating their function: vibrational (Raman, FTIR), electronic (UV-visible absorption, fluorescence) spectroscopies, and magnetic resonance (electron paramagnetic resonance, EPR), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). In the first of the two companion articles, we discuss the application of optical spectroscopy for studying rhodopsin in a membrane environment. Information is obtained regarding the time-ordered sequence of events in rhodopsin activation. Isomerization of the chromophore and deprotonation of the retinal Schiff base leads to a structural change of the protein involving the motion of helices H5 and H6 in a pH-dependent process. Information is obtained that is unavailable from X-ray crystallography, which can be combined with spectroscopic studies to achieve a more complete understanding of GPCR function.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Optics and Spectroscopy (English translation of Optika i Spektroskopiya)|
|State||Published - May 28 2015|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics