Amiram Hirshfeld

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The second extracellular loop (EL2) of rhodopsin forms a cap over the binding site of its photoreactive 11-cis retinylidene chromophore. A crucial question has been whether EL2 forms a reversible gate that opens upon activation or acts as a rigid barrier. Distance measurements using solid-state (13)C NMR spectroscopy between the retinal chromophore and the(More)
Isomerization of the 11-cis retinal chromophore in the visual pigment rhodopsin is coupled to motion of transmembrane helix H6 and receptor activation. We present solid-state magic angle spinning NMR measurements of rhodopsin and the metarhodopsin II intermediate that support the proposal that interaction of Trp265(6.48) with the retinal chromophore is(More)
Using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) difference spectroscopy, we have studied the impact of sites and extent of methylation of the retinal polyene with respect to position and thermodynamic parameters of the conformational equilibrium between the Meta I and Meta II photoproducts of rhodopsin. Deletion of methyl groups to form 9-demethyl and 13-demethyl(More)
Activation of the visual pigment rhodopsin is caused by 11-cis to -trans isomerization of its retinal chromophore. High-resolution solid-state NMR measurements on both rhodopsin and the metarhodopsin II intermediate show how retinal isomerization disrupts helix interactions that lock the receptor off in the dark. We made 2D dipolar-assisted rotational(More)
Rhodopsin is a highly specialized G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that is activated by the rapid photochemical isomerization of its covalently bound 11-cis-retinal chromophore. Using two-dimensional solid-state NMR spectroscopy, we defined the position of the retinal in the active metarhodopsin II intermediate. Distance constraints were obtained between(More)
Activation of the visual pigment rhodopsin is initiated by isomerization of its retinal chromophore to the all-trans geometry, which drives the conformation of the protein to the active state. We have examined by FTIR spectroscopy the impact of a series of modifications at the ring of retinal on the activation process and on molecular interactions within(More)
In an attempt to design new reagents for the chemical development of latent fingerprints, a number of ninhydrin analogues were synthesized and their reactions with latent fingerprints on paper were studied. The ring-fused and substituted ninhydrins developed latent fingerprints with a sensitivity similar to that of ninhydrin. The most promising of the group(More)
Absorption of light by the visual pigment rhodopsin triggers a rapid cis-trans photoisomerization of its retinal chromophore and a series of conformational changes in both the retinal and protein. The largest structural change is an outward tilt of transmembrane helix H6 that increases the separation of the intracellular ends of H6 and H3 and opens up the(More)
The visual pigment rhodopsin is unique among the G protein-coupled receptors in having an 11-cis retinal chromophore covalently bound to the protein through a protonated Schiff base linkage. The chromophore locks the visual receptor in an inactive conformation through specific steric and electrostatic interactions. This efficient inverse agonist is rapidly(More)
The visual pigment rhodopsin is a seven-transmembrane (7-TM) G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Activation of rhodopsin involves two pH-dependent steps: proton uptake at a conserved cytoplasmic motif between TM helices 3 and 6, and disruption of a salt bridge between a protonated Schiff base (PSB) and its carboxylate counterion in the transmembrane core of(More)