Microbial rhodopsins: wide distribution, rich diversity and great potential

Marie Kurihara, Yuki Sudo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


One of the major topics in biophysics and physicobiology is to understand and utilize biological functions using various advanced techniques. Taking advantage of the photoreactivity of the seven-transmembrane rhodopsin protein family has been actively investigated by a variety of methods. Rhodopsins serve as models for membrane-embedded proteins, for photoactive proteins and as a fundamental tool for optogenetics, a new technology to control biological activity with light. In this review, we summarize progress of microbial rhodopsin research from the viewpoint of distribution, diversity and poten-tial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalBiophysics and physicobiology
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • retinal
  • rhodopsin
  • visible light
  • vitamin-A
  • π-conjugation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


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