Molecular and evolutionary aspects of microbial sensory rhodopsins

Keiichi Inoue, Takashi Tsukamoto, Yuki Sudo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Retinal proteins (~ rhodopsins) are photochemically reactive membrane-embedded proteins, with seven transmembrane α-helices which bind the chromophore retinal (vitamin A aldehyde). They are widely distributed through all three biological kingdoms, eukarya, bacteria and archaea, indicating the biological significance of the retinal proteins. Light absorption by the retinal proteins triggers a photoisomerization of the chromophore, leading to the biological function, light-energy conversion or light-signal transduction. This article reviews molecular and evolutionary aspects of the light-signal transduction by microbial sensory receptors and their related proteins. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Retinal Proteins - You can teach an old dog new tricks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-577
Number of pages16
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Membrane protein
  • Phototaxis
  • Retinal
  • Signal transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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