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Rhodopsin

In vertebrates, rhodopsin, sometimes also known as visual purple, is a pigment of the retina, which is responsible for the first events in the perception of light. A so-called "7TM" G-protein coupled receptor, each protein binds as a cofactor a molecule of retinaldehyde[?], which derives from Vitamin A and is made in the retina. Isomerization[?] of retinaldehyde by light induces a conformational change in rhodopsin and a biochemical cascade[?] by way of the associated G protein. The rhodopsins encoded by different genes differ in the wavelengths of light which they absorb most strongly. This variation causes the cones of the retina to differ in their response and is the basis for color vision[?]. The rhodopsin of the rods most strongly absorbs purple light, which is why it is some times called "visual purple", even though it appears reddish. Some bacteria express a related protein called bacteriorhodopsin[?] to carry out bacterial photosynthesis[?].



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