Rhodopsin kinase and arrestin binding control the decay of photoactivated rhodopsin and dark adaptation of mouse rods

Rikard Frederiksen, Soile Nymark, Alexander V. Kolesnikov, Justin D. Berry, Leopold Adler, Yiannis Koutalos, Vladimir J. Kefalov, M. Carter Cornwall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Photoactivation of vertebrate rhodopsin converts it to the physiologically active Meta II (R*) state, which triggers the rod light response. Meta II is rapidly inactivated by the phosphorylation of C-terminal serine and threonine residues by G-protein receptor kinase (Grk1) and subsequent binding of arrestin 1 (Arr1). Meta II exists in equilibrium with the more stable inactive form of rhodopsin, Meta III. Dark adaptation of rods requires the complete thermal decay of Meta II/Meta III into opsin and all-trans retinal and the subsequent regeneration of rhodopsin with 11-cis retinal chromophore. In this study, we examine the regulation of Meta III decay by Grk1 and Arr1 in intact mouse rods and their effect on rod dark adaptation. We measure the rates of Meta III decay in isolated retinas of wild-type (WT), Grk1-deficient (Grk1-/-), Arr1-deficient (Arr1-/-), and Arr1-overexpressing (Arr1ox) mice. We find that in WT mouse rods, Meta III peaks ~6 min after rhodopsin activation and decays with a time constant (τ) of 17 min. Meta III decay slows in Arr1-/- rods (τ of ~27 min), whereas it accelerates in Arr1ox rods (τ of ~8 min) and Grk1-/- rods (τ of ~13 min). In all cases, regeneration of rhodopsin with exogenous 11-cis retinal is rate limited by the decay of Meta III. Notably, the kinetics of rod dark adaptation in vivo is also modulated by the levels of Arr1 and Grk1. We conclude that, in addition to their well-established roles in Meta II inactivation, Grk1 and Arr1 can modulate the kinetics of Meta III decay and rod dark adaptation in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of General Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


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