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Activation of a visual pigment molecule to initiate phototransduction requires a minimum energy, Ea, that need not be wholly derived from a photon, but may be supplemented by heat. Theory predicts that absorbance at very long wavelengths declines with the fraction of molecules that have a sufficient complement of thermal energy, and that Ea is inversely(More)
A visual pigment molecule in a retinal photoreceptor cell can be activated not only by absorption of a photon but also "spontaneously" by thermal energy. Current estimates of the activation energies for these two processes in vertebrate rod and cone pigments are on the order of 40-50 kcal/mol for activation by light and 20-25 kcal/mol for activation by(More)
Vision begins with photoisomerization of visual pigments. Thermal energy can complement photon energy to drive photoisomerization, but it also triggers spontaneous pigment activation as noise that interferes with light detection. For half a century, the mechanism underlying this dark noise has remained controversial. We report here a quantitative relation(More)
Dark noise, light-induced noise and responses to brief flashes of light were recorded in the membrane current of isolated rods from larval tiger salamander retina before and after bleaching most of the native visual pigment, which mainly has the 11-cis-3,4-dehydroretinal (A2) chromophore, and regenerating with the 11-cis-retinal (A1) chromophore in the same(More)
We relate the collected experimental data on the minimum energy for photoactivation (E(a)) to the wavelengths of peak absorbance (lambda(max)) of 12 visual pigments. The E(a) values have been determined from the temperature-dependence of spectral sensitivity in the long-wavelength range. As shown previously, the simple physical idea E(a) =const. x(More)
The visual cycle comprises a sequence of reactions that regenerate the visual pigment in photoreceptors during dark adaptation, starting with the reduction of all-trans retinal to all-trans retinol and its clearance from photoreceptors. We have followed the reduction of retinal and clearance of retinol within bleached outer segments of red rods isolated(More)
Effects of temperature on the spectral properties of visual pigments were measured in the physiological range (5-28 degrees C) in photoreceptor cells of bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) and crucian carp (Carassius carassius). Absorbance spectra recorded by microspectrophotometry (MSP) in single cells and sensitivity spectra recorded by electroretinography (ERG)(More)
Photoreceptors of nocturnal geckos are transmuted cones that acquired rod morphological and physiological properties but retained cone-type phototransduction proteins. We have used microspectrophotometry and microfluorometry of solitary isolated green-sensitive photoreceptors of Tokay gecko to study the initial stages of the visual cycle within these cells.(More)
The visual cycle is a chain of biochemical reactions that regenerate visual pigment following exposure to light. Initial steps, the liberation of all-trans retinal and its reduction to all-trans retinol by retinol dehydrogenase (RDH), take place in photoreceptors. We performed comparative microspectrophotometric and microfluorometric measurements on a(More)
Temperature effects on spectral properties of the two types of rod photoreceptors in toad retina, "red" and "green" rods, were studied in the range 0-38 degrees C. Absorbance spectra of the visual pigments were recorded by single-cell microspectrophotometry (MSP) and spectral sensitivities of red rods were measured by electroretinogram (ERG) recording(More)