Non-mammalian vertebrates have multiple extraocular photoreceptors, mainly localised in the pineal complex and the brain, to mediate irradiance detection. In this study, we report the full-length cDNA cloning of ruin lizard melanopsin and pinopsin. The high level of identity with opsins in both the transmembrane regions, where the chromophore binding site is located, and the intracellular loops, where the G-proteins interact, suggests that both melanopsin and pinopsin should be able to generate a stable photopigment, capable of triggering a transduction cascade mediated by G-proteins. Phylogenetic analysis showed that both opsins are located on the expected branches of the corresponding sequences of ortholog proteins. Subsequently, using RT-PCR and RPA analysis, we verified the expression of ruin lizard melanopsin and pinopsin in directly photosensitive organs, such as the lateral eye, brain, pineal gland and parietal eye. Melanopsin expression was detected in the lateral eye and all major regions of the brain. However, different from the situation in Xenopus and chicken, melanopsin is not expressed in the ruin lizard pineal. Pinopsin mRNA expression was only detected in the pineal complex. As a result of their phylogenetic position and ecology, reptiles provide the circadian field with some of the most interesting models for understanding the evolution of the vertebrate circadian timing system and its response to light. This characterization of melanopsin and pinopsin expression in the ruin lizard will be important for future studies aimed at understanding the molecular basis of circadian light detection in reptiles.

Isolation and characterization of melanopsin and pinopsin expression within photoreceptive sites of reptiles

FRIGATO, Elena;BERTOLUCCI, Cristiano;
2006

Abstract

Non-mammalian vertebrates have multiple extraocular photoreceptors, mainly localised in the pineal complex and the brain, to mediate irradiance detection. In this study, we report the full-length cDNA cloning of ruin lizard melanopsin and pinopsin. The high level of identity with opsins in both the transmembrane regions, where the chromophore binding site is located, and the intracellular loops, where the G-proteins interact, suggests that both melanopsin and pinopsin should be able to generate a stable photopigment, capable of triggering a transduction cascade mediated by G-proteins. Phylogenetic analysis showed that both opsins are located on the expected branches of the corresponding sequences of ortholog proteins. Subsequently, using RT-PCR and RPA analysis, we verified the expression of ruin lizard melanopsin and pinopsin in directly photosensitive organs, such as the lateral eye, brain, pineal gland and parietal eye. Melanopsin expression was detected in the lateral eye and all major regions of the brain. However, different from the situation in Xenopus and chicken, melanopsin is not expressed in the ruin lizard pineal. Pinopsin mRNA expression was only detected in the pineal complex. As a result of their phylogenetic position and ecology, reptiles provide the circadian field with some of the most interesting models for understanding the evolution of the vertebrate circadian timing system and its response to light. This characterization of melanopsin and pinopsin expression in the ruin lizard will be important for future studies aimed at understanding the molecular basis of circadian light detection in reptiles.
Frigato, Elena; Vallone, D; Bertolucci, Cristiano; Foulkes, N. S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11392/1198022
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