Two isoforms of chicken melanopsins show blue light sensitivity

Masaki Torii, Daisuke Kojima, Toshiyuki Okano, Atsushi Nakamura, Akihisa Terakita, Yoshinori Shichida, Akimori Wada, Yoshitaka Fukada*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Melanopsin is a vertebrate non-visual opsin and functions as a circadian photoreceptor in mammalian retinas. Here we found the expression of two kinds of melanopsin genes in the chicken pineal gland and identified the presence of five isoforms derived from these two genes. Reconstitution of the recombinant proteins with 11-cis-retinal revealed that at least two of these melanopsin protein isoforms can function as blue-sensitive photopigments with absorption maxima at 476-484 nm. These values are consistent with maximal sensitivities of action spectra determined from the physiological and behavioral studies on mammalian melanopsins. The melanopsin isoforms found in this study may function as pineal circadian photoreceptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5327-5331
Number of pages5
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Nov 13
Externally publishedYes


  • Melanopsin
  • OPN4
  • Pineal gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Two isoforms of chicken melanopsins show blue light sensitivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this