Glycosylation and palmitoylation are not required for the formation of the X-linked cone opsin visual pigments.

H. Ostrer, R. K. Pullarkat, M. A. Kazmi

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PURPOSE: This study was designed to test whether palmitoylation and glycosylation are required for the formation of the green opsin visual pigment. METHODS: Stable cell lines were established by transfecting EBNA-293 cells with a pMEP4ss recombinant plasmid containing wild-type bovine rhodopsin or wild-type or mutant (N32S) green opsin cDNA molecules that included a tag for the eight amino acid residues located at the C-terminus of rhodopsin. The opsins were induced by addition of CdCl2 into the medium and then reconstituted with 11-cis-retinal. The reconstituted opsins were purified by immunoaffinity chromatography, then analyzed by difference spectra, and by binding 35S-GTP in the presence of bovine transducin. Non-reconstituted opsins were analyzed by Western blotting and by pulse-labeling with 3H-palmitic acid followed by immunoprecipitation. RESULTS: Elimination of glycosylation by mutagenesis of the N-linked glycosylation site did not impair the ability of the resulting cone opsin to absorb light at the appropriate wavelength nor to activate transducin. Furthermore, as judged by pulse-labeling with 3H-palmitic acid and immunoprecipitation and by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy, the wild type green opsin differs from rhodopsin by not being palmitoylated. CONCLUSIONS: Glycosylation and palmitoylation are not required for the formation of cone opsin visual pigments. For the previously described green opsin C203R mutation, disruption of folding and transport, rather than altered glycosylation is sufficient to explain the associated color vision deficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalMolecular vision
Publication statusPublished - Dec 10 1998
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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