The colour vision polymorphism of New World monkeys results from allelic variations of the middle-to-long-wave-sensitive (M/LWS) visual pigments. On the basis of sequence comparison, spectral differences among the alleles have been ascribed to amino acid residues at sites 180, 229, 233, 277, and 285. While the significant spectral effects have been demonstrated for sites 180, 277, and 285 by site-directed mutagenesis for a large number of vertebrate M/LWS pigments (the "three-site rule"), effects at sites 229 and 233 remain untested. Here we measured absorption spectra of the reconstituted M/LWS pigments from the tri-allelic squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) and the mono-allelic owl monkey (Aotus trivirgatus). The peak absorption spectra (λmax) of Saimiri pigments were 532, 545, and 558 nm and that of Aotus pigment 539 nm, being consistent with the prediction from the three-site rule. Our site-directed mutagenesis for sites 229 and 233 showed that their mutational effects for λmax values were negligible. These results preclude the necessity of examining exon 4, encoding the residues at sites 229 and 233, of M/LWS pigment genes for colour-vision typing of New World monkeys.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems