概要

顔写真 Name: Keisuke SAKURAI
Affiliation: Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences
Specialty: Biological Sciences
Field of Research: Animal Physiology
Position: Assistant Professor
Degree: Ph.D. (science)
Degree earning University : Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University (July 2007)
Starting Date: October 1, 2012
Mentor: Professor Kazuto Nakada
Laboratory: https://sites.google.com/site/utsukubaphysiology/

Molecular evolution of visual pigments for scotopic vision.

 Vertebrate species derive most of ambient information through photoreceptors, where light is absorbed and signaled to the nervous system. Visual perception initiates with the absorption of light by rod and cone photoreceptors in the retina, which mediate dim light (scotopic) vision and bright light (photopic) vision, respectively. Rod and cone photoreceptors exhibit photoresponses different from each other and contain similar phototransduction proteins with distinctive molecular properties. The pathway for converting light into an electric impulse, known as phototransduction, has been well characterized in rods. Rods and cones employ homologous or sometimes even identical proteins in their phototransduction cascades, indicating that the same principles of phototransduction are likely to exist in cones. Despite these similarities, rods and cones exhibit important functional differences, with still largely unknown origins. It is of great significance to understand how the unique visual perceptions are acquired and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of phototransduction suitable for scotopic or photopic vision.
 The aim of our research is to elucidate molecular evolution of visual pigment for acquiring scotopic vision and to understand molecular mechanisms for thermal stability of visual pigments. To achieve this goal, we mainly use electrophysiological technique, a powerful tool to characterize molecular mechanism in photoreceptors, in combination with genetically manipulated animals.

 

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