Ligand Binding Mechanisms in Human Cone Visual Pigments

Sundaramoorthy Srinivasan, Ramon Guixà-González, Arnau Cordomí, Pere Garriga

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Vertebrate vision starts with light absorption by visual pigments in rod and cone photoreceptor cells of the retina. Rhodopsin, in rod cells, responds to dim light, whereas three types of cone opsins (red, green, and blue) function under bright light and mediate color vision. Cone opsins regenerate with retinal much faster than rhodopsin, but the molecular mechanism of regeneration is still unclear. Recent advances in the area pinpoint transient intermediate opsin conformations, and a possible secondary retinal-binding site, as determinant factors for regeneration. In this Review, we compile previous and recent findings to discuss possible mechanisms of ligand entry in cone opsins, involving a secondary binding site, which may have relevant functional and evolutionary implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-639
JournalTrends in Biochemical Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • allostery
  • chromophore regeneration
  • color blindness
  • G protein-coupled receptor
  • ligand-binding site
  • opsin
  • retinoids
  • vision


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