Thermal Stability of Rhodopsin and Progression of RP [Protein Structure and Folding]

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Over 100 point mutations in the rhodopsin gene have been associated with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a family of inherited visual disorders. Among these, we focused on characterizing the S186W mutation. We compared the thermal properties of the S186W mutant with another RP-causing mutant, D190N, and with WT rhodopsin. To assess thermal stability, we measured the rate of two thermal reactions contributing to the thermal decay of rhodopsin as follows: thermal isomerization of 11-cis-retinal and hydrolysis of the protonated Schiff base linkage between the 11-cis-retinal chromophore and opsin protein. We used UV-visible spectroscopy and HPLC to examine the kinetics of these reactions at 37 and 55 °C for WT and mutant rhodopsin purified from HEK293 cells. Compared with WT rhodopsin and the D190…