A deep brain photoreceptive molecule in the toad hypothalamus

Tomoko Yoshikawa, Toshiyuki Okano, Tadashi Oishi, Yoshitaka Fukada*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


We have isolated a cDNA clone encoding a deep brain photoreceptive molecule from the hypothalamic cDNA library of the toad, Bufo japonicus. The deduced amino acid sequence showed the highest similarity to that of pinopsin (75-76%) among vertebrate retinal opsins, indicating the expression of toad pinopsin in the deep brain. Antibodies raised against the C-terminal tail of toad pinopsin stained cell bodies and the knob-like structures of the cerebrospinal fluid-contacting neurons in the anterior preoptic nucleus. This region is known to play an important role in breeding behavior, suggesting that toad pinopsin acts as a photosensor for the photoperiodic gonadal response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-72
Number of pages4
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Mar 6
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebrospinal fluid-contacting neuron
  • Hypothalamus
  • Photoperiodic response
  • Pinopsin
  • Toad
  • anterior preoptic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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