Gordon L. Fain, Ph.D.

Titles

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Integrative Biology and Physiology

Member, Brain Research Institute

Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology GPB Home Area

Neuroscience GPB Home Area

Contact Information

Email
gfain@ucla.edu
Phone
Office Phone Number: (310) 206-4281
Address

Work Address:

Office
A-222B, Jules Stein Eye Institute
100 Stein Plaza, UCLA
David Geffen School of Medicine
Los Angeles, CA 90095
UNITED STATES
Laboratory
Jules Stein Eye Institute
100 Stein Plaza, UCLA
David Geffen School of Medicine
Los Angeles, CA 90095
UNITED STATES

Biography

A vertebrate photoreceptor uses a G-protein receptor (rhodopsin) and a G-protein cascade to produce the electrical response that signals a change in light intensity. Powerful new techniques have made it possible to understand the working of this cascade in extraordinary detail. The reason for this is that practically every protein involved in the cascade in a photoreceptor, from the pigment molecule rhodopsin to the G-protein and channels, but including also a large number of control proteins, are expressed only in the photoreceptors and nowhere else in the body. This makes it possible with genetic techniques to create mice in which these proteins have been knocked out, over or under expressed, or replaced with proteins of modified structure. We use electrical recording to study the effects of such genetic alterations on the light responses of mouse rods and cones, in order to understand the role of these proteins in the visual cascade. We are especially interested in modulatory enzymes and their function in light and dark adaptation. We also have a long-standing interest in mechanisms of photoreceptor degeneration in genetically inherited disease. 

Publications