Phototransduction Motifs and Variations

King Wai Yau, Roger C. Hardie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

258 Scopus citations


Seeing begins in the photoreceptors, where light is absorbed and signaled to the nervous system. Throughout the animal kingdom, photoreceptors are diverse in design and purpose. Nonetheless, phototransduction-the mechanism by which absorbed photons are converted into an electrical response-is highly conserved and based almost exclusively on a single class of photoproteins, the opsins. In this Review, we survey the G protein-coupled signaling cascades downstream from opsins in photoreceptors across vertebrate and invertebrate species, noting their similarities as well as differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-264
Number of pages19
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 16 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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