Activation, deactivation, and adaptation in vertebrate photoreceptor cells

Marie E Burns, D. A. Baylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

320 Scopus citations


Visual transduction captures widespread interest because its G-protein signaling motif recurs throughout nature yet is uniquely accessible for study in the photoreceptor cells. The light-activated currents generated at the photoreceptor outer segment provide an easily observed real-time measure of the output of the signaling cascade, and the ease of obtaining pure samples of outer segments in reasonable quantity facilitates biochemical experiments. A quiet revolution in the study of the mechanism has occurred during the past decade with the advent of gene-targeting techniques. These have made it possible to observe how transduction is perturbed by the deletion, overexpression, or mutation of specific components of the transduction apparatus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)779-805
Number of pages27
JournalAnnual Review of Neuroscience
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cones
  • G protein
  • Rhodopsin
  • Rods
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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