Can transcranial brain-targeted bright light treatment via ear canals be effective in relieving symptoms in seasonal affective disorder? A pilot study.
As part of an ongoing search to identify novel mammalian photopigments that may mediate nonvisual tasks such as circadian entrainment and acute suppression of pineal melatonin levels, a number of recently cloned nonvisual opsin sequences were used to search dbEST. panopsin (OPN3) was one of the clones identified using this approach. Expression analysis detects two transcripts of approximately 2.1 and 2.5 kb, in a wide range of tissues including brain, liver, and retina, which encode a predicted protein of 403 amino acids. The gene was localized to the region of chromosome 1q43 also encompassing the kynurenine monooxygenase (KMO) and choroideremia-like Rab escort protein 2 (CHML) genes. KMO and panopsin overlap at their 3' ends but are transcribed in opposite directions. CHML, an intronless gene, lies in intron 1 of panopsin.