Identification and localization of a possible rhodopsin in the echinoderms Asterias forbesi (Asteroidea) and Ophioderma brevispinum (Ophiuroidea).
Protein extracts of optic cushion tissue from the asteroid Asterias forbesi and arm tissue from the ophiuroid Ophioderma brevispinum were subjected to Western blot analysis. Both tissues contain a membrane-associated protein that reacts with two monoclonal antibodies raised against bovine rhodopsin. This protein migrates slightly behind bovine rhodopsin during sodium-dodecyl-sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, suggesting that its molecular weight is slightly larger. Immunohistochemical examination of the optic cushions of A. forbesi revealed a substance that reacts with both monoclonal antibodies; moreover, this substance is more abundant in dark-adapted animals than in light-adapted animals. The arms and central disk of O. brevispinum were also examined immunohistochemically. The tips of the arm spines contain a substance that reacts with both monoclonal antibodies, and at higher magnification this immunoreactive material is localized to small regions within the stroma of the ossicles. Taken together, the biochemical and immunochemical evidence suggests that the cross-reacting protein is homologous to other known rhodopsins and is serving as a visual pigment in echinoderms.
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