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Asked Mar 19, 2020
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Describe the process of retinal transduction. How are visual cues perceived at the cellular level?

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Expert Answer

Step 1

Retina refers to the tissue layer present at the back of the inside of the eye. It contains rod cells and cone cells. Retinal transduction or visual transduction is a process that is responsible for sight. The process involves the conversion of light into electrical signals that are sensed by the retina. This is called a visual cycle.  

Step 2

Process of retinal transduction:

The rod cells and cone cells consist of photoreceptors that sense light. In rod cells, these receptors are known as rhodopsin while cone cells have photopsins. These photoreceptors are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) also known as opsins.

These opsin proteins have a chromophore called 11-cis retinal which is attached to opsin by retinylidene protein covalently.  When the chromophore changes its configuration from 11 cis retinal to all-trans-retinal that subsequently changes the configuration of opsin GPCR. It leads to a signal transduction cascade.

The configuration change on the opsin breaks transducin, which is three subunits (alpha, beta, and gamma) protein a...

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