TCB Publications - Abstract

Shigehiko Hayashi and Klaus Schulten. Quantum biology of retinal. In Masoud Mohseni, Yasser Omar, Greg Engel, and Martin B. Plenio, editors, Quantum Effects in Biology, pp. 237-263. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

HAYA2014 Retinal is a biological chromophore ubiquitous in visual reception of higher life forms, but serving also as an antenna in bacterial light energy transformation and photo-taxis. The chromophore, bound as a Schiff base to a lysine amino acid, arises in various retinal proteins, the best known two being the visual receptor rhodopsin and the light-induced proton pump bacteriorhodopsin. Rhodopsin (Rh) resides in the retina of animal eyes. Its extremely fast (200 fs) primary photo-reaction furnishes the visual receptor with very high sensitivity to detect incoming light, matching nearly a single photon counter. The photo- biological mechanism of retinal has been fascinating experimental and theoretical researchers over many decades. In this article, the quantum processes involved in the photo-activation of retinal in Rh, and related proteins are presented.

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