On the basis of the amino acid sequence of bovine rhodopsin, a series of peptides from the C-terminus (Rhod-4 and Rhod-1) and external loops (Rhod-10) were synthesized. Rabbit antisera to these peptides recognize the rhodopsin molecule in whole retina from 8-week-old normal and affected rcdl (rod/cone-dysplasic) Irish setters (8- and 4-weeks-old). When the rhodopsin content was equalized by using a solid-phase radioimmunoassay, the reaction with anti-peptide antisera to the C-terminal octapeptide (residues 341-348) is severely decreased in the rcdl-dog retinas. The results of mixing experiments suggest that this is not due to proteolytic clipping of the rhodopsin C-terminus from the affected dogs. Treatment of retinas with 1.0 mM-NaF, a phosphatase inhibitor, or pretreatment with alkaline and acid phosphatases does alter the reaction of the rhodopsin with anti-rhodopsin antisera. This suggests that the decreased reaction of the affected rhodopsin with the anti-peptide antisera may partially result from differences in intrinsic rhodopsin phosphorylation. However, since the reaction of rcdl retinas cannot be restored to that of the normals, these results suggest that the rhodopsin molecule from the rcdl dogs may be structurally altered in other ways.

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