Screening of Chemical Libraries Using a Yeast Model of Retinal Disease

Pathogenic mutations cause rhodopsin to misfold and disrupt its function. In this study, a yeast-based assay was used to screen for compounds that have the potential to rescue the function of mutant rhodopsin. It was confirmed that 9-cis retinal could partially rescue light-dependent activation of disease-associated rhodopsin mutation (P23H). A phenotypic screen was also done with yeast assays to screen compounds from the LOPAC1280 library and a peptidomimetic library.

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Evolutionary signatures of photoreceptor transmutation in geckos reveal potential adaptation and convergence with snakes

A recent study by Ryan K. Schott, Nihar Bhattacharyya, and Belinda S.W. Chang analysed the patterns of evolution in the gecko phototransduction gene and compared them to those of other reptiles. Parallel shifts in selective constraint on phototransduction genes were found in geckos and snakes.

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To see or not to see: molecular evolution of the rhodopsin visual pigment in neotropical electric fishes

What do visual disease in humans and dim-light adaptation in fishes have in common? Read our publication on Proceedings of the Royal Society B, and find out more!

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Coupling of human rhodopsin to a yeast signaling pathway

In this new assay, light dependent activation of the human rhodopsin protein initiates the yeast mating pathway and results in the signaling of a fluorescent reporter. This innovative technique allowed the authors to characterize a panel of known rhodopsin mutations and to explore the molecular mechanisms that lead to their to pathogenicity.

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Functional trade-offs and environmental variation shaped ancient trajectories in the evolution of dim-light vision

How did epistasis affect the evolution of tetrapod dim-light vision? How does this compare with fishes? Find out more by reading our lab’s recent paper published in eLIFE.

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Bat cone opsin evolution

How is bat color vision shaped by ecological factors? Check out our new paper in Proc B!

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Convergence in the visual system at high altitudes

Can convergence in evolutionary rates predict convergence in protein function? Check out our new paper in Evolution!

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Insights into visual pigment adaptation and diversity

Congratulations to Dr. Frances E. Hauser on our recently published invited review in the Current Opinion series!

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Directed evolution of ligand specificity in a GPCR

A study by Raphaƫl Di Roberto, Belinda Chang and Sergio Peisajovich demonstrated that changes in ligand efficacy can lead to changes in GPCR specificity, eliminating the need for extensive binding pocket re-modeling. Read their paper published in Scientific Reports to learn more.

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Retinal Diseases: Experimental comparisons of human and bovine rhodopsin

Congratulations to James Morrow and other Chang lab members who recently published a study in FEBS letters. James is now a Forensic Scientist with the Ontario Government.

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