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Cis-retinoids and the chemistry of vision.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Review article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2013
Author Cascella Michele, Bärfuss Simon, Stocker Achim,
Project Structural and functional characterization of the retinoid visual cycle in the vertebrate eye
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Review article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Archives of biochemistry and biophysics
Volume (Issue) 539(2)
Page(s) 187 - 95
Title of proceedings Archives of biochemistry and biophysics
DOI 10.1016/

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


We discuss here principal biochemical transformations of retinoid molecules in the visual cycle. We focus our analysis on the accumulating evidence of alternate pathways and functional redundancies in the cycle. The efficiency of the visual cycle depends, on one hand, on fast regeneration of the photo-bleached chromophores. On the other hand, it is crucial that the cyclic process should be highly selective to avoid accumulation of byproducts. The state-of-the-art knowledge indicates that single enzymatically active components of the cycle are not strictly selective and may require chaperones to enhance their rates. It appears that protein-protein interactions significantly improve the biological stability of the visual cycle. In particular, synthesis of thermodynamically less stable 11-cis-retinoid conformers is favored by physical interactions of the isomerases present in the retina with cellular retinaldehyde binding protein.