< Back to previous page


New simulation insights on the structural transition mechanism of bovine rhodopsin activation

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Inactive rhodopsin can absorb photons, which induces different structural transitions that finally activate rhodopsin. We have examined the change in spatial configurations and physicochemical factors that result during the transition mechanism from the inactive to the active rhodopsin state via intermediates. During the activation process, many existing atomic contacts are disrupted, and new ones are formed. This is related to the movement of Helix 5, which tilts away from Helix 3 in the intermediate state in lumirhodopsin and moves closer to Helix 3 again in the active state. Similar patterns of changing atomic contacts are observed between Helices 3 and 5 of the adenosine and neurotensin receptors. In addition, residues 220-238 of rhodopsin, which are disordered in the inactive state, fold in the active state before binding to the Gα, where it catalyzes GDP/GTP exchange on the Gα subunit. Finally, molecular dynamics simulations in the membrane environment revealed that the arrestin binding region adopts a more flexible extended conformation upon phosphorylation, likely promoting arrestin binding and inactivation. In summary, our results provide additional structural understanding of specific rhodopsin activation which might be relevant to other Class A G protein-coupled receptor proteins.

Journal: Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics
ISSN: 0887-3585
Issue: 6
Volume: 91
Pages: 771-780
Publication year:2023
Keywords:Animals, Cattle, Rhodopsin/chemistry, Protein Conformation, Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled/chemistry, Molecular Dynamics Simulation, Arrestins/metabolism