Molecular determinants of human red/green color discrimination

Ana B. Asenjo, Jeanne Rim, Daniel D. Oprian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

388 Scopus citations


The human red and green color vision pigments are identical at all but 15 of their 364 amino acids, and yet their absorption maxima differ by 31 nm. In an extensive mutagenesis study, including a set of 28 chimeric proteins modeled after pigments in the color-deficient human population and an additional 30 single and multiple point mutants, the spectral difference between these 2 pigments is shown to be determined by 7 and only 7 amino acid residues. In going from the red pigment to the green pigment, the 7 residues are Ser116 → Tyr, Ser180 → Ala, Ile230 → Thr, Ala233 → Ser, Tyr277 → Phe, Thr285 → Ala, and Tyr309 → Phe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1131-1138
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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