Opn5 is a UV-sensitive bistable pigment that couples with Gi subtype of G protein

Takahiro Yamashita, Hideyo Ohuchi, Sayuri Tomonari, Keiko Ikeda, Kazumi Sakai, Yoshinori Shichida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)


Opn5 (neuropsin) belongs to an independent group separated from the other six groups in the phylogenetic tree of opsins, for which little information of absorption characteristics and molecular properties of the members is available. Here we show that the chicken Opn5 (cOpn5m) is a UV-sensitive bistable pigment that couples with Gi subtype of G protein. The recombinant expression of cOpn5m in HEK 293s cells followed by the addition of 11-cis- and all-Trans-retinal produced UV light-absorbing and visible light- absorbing forms, respectively. These forms were interconvertible by UV and visible light irradiations, respectively, indicating that cOpn5m is a bistable pigment. The absorption maxima of these forms were estimated to be 360 and 474 nm, respectively. The GTPAγS binding assay clearly showed that the visible light-absorbing form having all-trans-retinal activates Gi type of G protein, whereas no Gt or Gq activation ability was observed. Immunohis- tochemical studies using an antibody against cOpn5m clearly showed that this pigment is localized within some types of amacrine cells and some cells in the ganglion cell layer of the retinas, the vast majority of cells in the pineal gland and serotonin-positive cells in the paraventricular organ. Because cOpn5m is the only UV-sensitive opsin among the opsins found so far in chicken, this study provides the molecular basis for UV reception in chicken.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22084-22089
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - Dec 21 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • G protein-coupled receptor
  • Nonvisual photoreception
  • Phototransduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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