Over three hundred proteins in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms use retinal to carry out their biological function. Retinal-binding proteins mediate in such diverse processes as ion transport and light-induced motion in microorganisms, or various types of light-induced cellular mechanisms in higher animals, most importantly vision.
The International Conference on Retinal Proteins began in Munich (Germany), organized by D. Oesterhelt in 1982 and since then has been held every two years at different venues around the world. The main objective of this conference is to share the latest discoveries in cutting edge research in diverse aspects of retinal protein structure, function, and dynamics. These include crystallographic and spectroscopic studies of protein structure and dynamics, genetic, biochemical and physiological studies of protein function, signal transduction and energy transduction mechanisms, and new biotechnological applications in biomedical research, gene therapy, artificial vision, and alternative energy sources.