Rhodopsin 7 (Rh7), a new invertebrate Rhodopsin gene, was discovered in the genome of Drosophila melanogaster in 2000 and thought to encode for a functional Rhodopsin protein. Indeed, Rh7 exhibits most hallmarks of the known Rhodopsins, except for the G-protein-activating QAKK motif in the third cytoplasmic loop that is absent in Rh7. Here, we show that Rh7 can partially substitute Rh1 in the outer receptor cells (R1–6) for rhabdomere maintenance, but that it cannot activate the phototransduction cascade in these cells. This speaks against a role of Rh7 as photopigment in R1–6, but does not exclude that it works in the inner photoreceptor cells.
Journal of Comparative Physiology A – Springer Journals
Published: May 12, 2017
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