Lake Baikal is the deepest and one of the most ancient lakes in the world. Its unique ecology has resulted in the colonization of a diversity of depth habitats by a unique fauna that includes a group of teleost fish of the sub-order Cottoidei. This relatively recent radiation of cottoid fishes shows a gradual blue-shift in the wavelength of the absorption maximum of their visual pigments with increasing habitat depth. Here we combine homology modeling and quantum chemical calculations with experimental in vitro measurements of rhodopsins to investigate dim-light adaptation. The calculations, which were able to reproduce the trend of observed absorption maxima in both A1 and A2 rhodopsins, reveal a Barlow-type relationship between the absorption maxima and the thermal isomerization rate suggesting a link between the observed blue-shift and a thermal noise decrease. A Nakanishi point-charge analysis of the electrostatic effects of non-conserved and conserved amino acid residues surrounding the rhodopsin chromophore identified both close and distant sites affecting simultaneously spectral tuning and visual sensitivity. We propose that natural variation at these sites modulate both the thermal noise and spectral shifting in Baikal cottoid visual pigments resulting in adaptations that enable vision in deep water light environments.
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|Titolo:||Modulation of thermal noise and spectral sensitivity in Lake Baikal cottoid fish rhodopsins|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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