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Reviewed January 2015
What is the official name of the OPN1SW gene?
The official name of this gene is “opsin 1 (cone pigments), short-wave-sensitive.”
OPN1SW is the gene's official symbol. The OPN1SW gene is also known by other names, listed below.
Read more about gene names and symbols on the About page.
What is the normal function of the OPN1SW gene?
The OPN1SW gene provides instructions for making a protein that is essential for normal color vision. This protein is found in the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The retina contains two types of light receptor cells, called rods and cones, that transmit visual signals from the eye to the brain. Rods provide vision in low light. Cones provide vision in bright light, including color vision. There are three types of cones. each containing a specific pigment (a photopigment called an opsin) that is most sensitive to particular wavelengths of light.
The OPN1SW gene provides instructions for making an opsin pigment that is more sensitive to light in the blue/violet part of the visible spectrum (short-wavelength light). Cones with this pigment are called short-wavelength-sensitive or S cones. In response to light, the photopigment triggers a series of chemical reactions within an S cone. These reactions ultimately alter the cell's electrical charge, generating a signal that is transmitted to the brain. The brain combines input from all three types of cones to produce normal color vision.
Does the OPN1SW gene share characteristics with other genes?
The OPN1SW gene belongs to a family of genes called GPCR (G protein-coupled receptors).
A gene family is a group of genes that share important characteristics. Classifying individual genes into families helps researchers describe how genes are related to each other. For more information, see What are gene families? in the Handbook.
How are changes in the OPN1SW gene related to health conditions?
Where is the OPN1SW gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 7q32.1
Molecular Location on chromosome 7: base pairs 128,772,489 to 128,775,790
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The OPN1SW gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 7 at position 32.1.
More precisely, the OPN1SW gene is located from base pair 128,772,489 to base pair 128,775,790 on chromosome 7.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about OPN1SW?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about OPN1SW helpful.
You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.
What other names do people use for the OPN1SW gene or gene products?
See How are genetic conditions and genes named? in the Handbook.
Where can I find general information about genes?
The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.
These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.
What glossary definitions help with understanding OPN1SW?
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (7 links)
The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.