The carbohydrates in frog retinal rod outer segments.
Frog retinal rod outer segments appear to contain uncharacterized chemical components whose mass is roughly equivalent to 12--51% of the rhodopsin mass. Available data suggest that such components include soluble proteins and complex polysaccharides, and that hyaluronic acid accounts for a substantial fraction of this mass. Electron microscopic histochemical staining studies suggest that these polysaccharide components are located within the ROS disks. The oligosaccharide moieties of rhodopsin also appear localized within the disks. The interdisk cytoplasm may contain carbohydrates, but their quantity and identity are uncertain. Rhodopsin oligosaccharides as well as some fraction of the intradisk polysaccharide appear to have extended saccharide chains preferentially oriented perpendicular to the surface of the disk membrane. Possible roles for these polysaccharides in disk development and photoexcitation are discussed. The immediate need for complete rod outer segment chemical composition data is emphasized.
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