Curated Optogenetic Publication Database

Search precisely and efficiently by using the advantage of the hand-assigned publication tags that allow you to search for papers involving a specific trait, e.g. a particular optogenetic switch or a host organism.

Showing 1 - 25 of 29 results

Epstein-Barr Virus Promotes Tumorigenicity and Worsens Hodgkin Lymphoma Prognosis by Activating JAK/STAT and NF-κB Signaling Pathways.

blue red DmBphP PAL E. coli Transgene expression Multichromatic
Iran J Med Sci, 1 Feb 2024 DOI: 10.21203/ Link to full text
Abstract: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is detected in 40% of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). During latency, EBV induces epigenetic alterations to the host genome and decreases the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins. The present study aimed to evaluate the expression levels of mRNA molecules and the end product of proteins for the JAK/STAT and NF-κB pathways, and their association with clinicopathological and prognostic parameters in patients with EBV-positive and -negative classical Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL).

Multimodal Control of Bacterial Gene Expression by Red and Blue Light.

blue red DrBphP PAL E. coli Multichromatic
Methods Mol Biol, 2024 DOI: 10.1007/978-1-0716-3658-9_26 Link to full text
Abstract: By applying sensory photoreceptors, optogenetics realizes the light-dependent control of cellular events and state. Given reversibility, noninvasiveness, and exquisite spatiotemporal precision, optogenetic approaches enable innovative use cases in cell biology, synthetic biology, and biotechnology. In this chapter, we detail the implementation of the pREDusk, pREDawn, pCrepusculo, and pAurora optogenetic circuits for controlling bacterial gene expression by red and blue light, respectively. The protocols provided here guide the practical use and multiplexing of these circuits, thereby enabling graded protein production in bacteria at analytical and semi-preparative scales.

Multicolor optogenetics for regulating flux ratio of three glycolytic pathways using EL222 and CcaSR in Escherichia coli.

blue green CcaS/CcaR EL222 E. coli Transgene expression Multichromatic
Biotechnol Bioeng, 20 Dec 2023 DOI: 10.1002/bit.28628 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetics is an attractive synthetic biology tool for controlling the metabolic flux distribution. Here, we demonstrated optogenetic flux ratio control of glycolytic pathways consisting of the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas (EMP), pentose phosphate (PP), and Entner-Doudoroff (ED) pathways by illuminating multicolor lights using blue light-responsive EL222 and green/red light-responsive CcaSR in Escherichia coli. EL222 forms a dimer and binds to a particular DNA sequence under blue light; therefore, target gene expression can be reduced or induced by inserting a recognition sequence into its promoter regions. First, a flux ratio between the PP and ED pathways was controlled by blue light using EL222. After blocking the EMP pathway, the EL222-recognition sequence was inserted between the -35 and -10 regions of gnd to repress the PP flux and was also inserted upstream of the -35 region of edd to induce ED flux. After adjusting light intensity, the PP:ED flux ratios were 60:39% and 29:70% under dark and blue light conditions, respectively. Finally, a CcaSR-based pgi expression system was implemented to control the flux ratio between the EMP and PP + ED pathways by illuminating green/red light. The EMP:PP:ED flux ratios were 80:9:11%, 14:35:51%, and 33:5:62% under green, red, and red and blue light, respectively.

A red light-induced genetic system for control of extracellular electron transfer.

blue red iLight YtvA E. coli Transgene expression Multichromatic
bioRxiv, 2 Dec 2023 DOI: 10.1101/2023.12.02.569691 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetics is a powerful tool for spatiotemporal control of gene expression. Several light-inducible gene regulators have been developed to function in bacteria, and these regulatory circuits have been ported into new host strains. Here, we developed and adapted a red light-inducible transcription factor for Shewanella oneidensis. This regulatory circuit is based on the iLight optogenetic system, which controls gene expression using red light. Promoter engineering and a thermodynamic model were used to adapt this system to achieve differential gene expression in light and dark conditions within a S. oneidensis host strain. We further improved the iLight optogenetic system by adding a repressor to invert the genetic circuit and activate gene expression under red light illumination. The inverted iLight genetic circuit was used to control extracellular electron transfer (EET) within S. oneidensis. The ability to use both red and blue light-induced optogenetic circuits simultaneously was demonstrated. Our work expands the synthetic biology toolbox of Shewanella, which could facilitate future advances in applications with electrogenic bacteria.

A biological camera that captures and stores images directly into DNA.

blue red PhyB/PIF3 VVD E. coli Nucleic acid editing Multichromatic
Nat Commun, 3 Jul 2023 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-38876-w Link to full text
Abstract: The increasing integration between biological and digital interfaces has led to heightened interest in utilizing biological materials to store digital data, with the most promising one involving the storage of data within defined sequences of DNA that are created by de novo DNA synthesis. However, there is a lack of methods that can obviate the need for de novo DNA synthesis, which tends to be costly and inefficient. Here, in this work, we detail a method of capturing 2-dimensional light patterns into DNA, by utilizing optogenetic circuits to record light exposure into DNA, encoding spatial locations with barcoding, and retrieving stored images via high-throughput next-generation sequencing. We demonstrate the encoding of multiple images into DNA, totaling 1152 bits, selective image retrieval, as well as robustness to drying, heat and UV. We also demonstrate successful multiplexing using multiple wavelengths of light, capturing 2 different images simultaneously using red and blue light. This work thus establishes a 'living digital camera', paving the way towards integrating biological systems with digital devices.

Engineering of bidirectional, cyanobacteriochrome-based light-inducible dimers (BICYCL)s.

blue green red Am1 c0023g2/BAm green Am1 c0023g2/BAm red AsLOV2 TULIP CHO-K1 HEK293T in vitro S. cerevisiae Transgene expression Multichromatic
Nat Methods, 23 Feb 2023 DOI: 10.1038/s41592-023-01764-8 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetic tools for controlling protein-protein interactions (PPIs) have been developed from a small number of photosensory modules that respond to a limited selection of wavelengths. Cyanobacteriochrome (CBCR) GAF domain variants respond to an unmatched array of colors; however, their natural molecular mechanisms of action cannot easily be exploited for optogenetic control of PPIs. Here we developed bidirectional, cyanobacteriochrome-based light-inducible dimers (BICYCL)s by engineering synthetic light-dependent interactors for a red/green GAF domain. The systematic approach enables the future engineering of the broad chromatic palette of CBCRs for optogenetics use. BICYCLs are among the smallest optogenetic tools for controlling PPIs and enable either green-ON/red-OFF (BICYCL-Red) or red-ON/green-OFF (BICYCL-Green) control with up to 800-fold state selectivity. The access to green wavelengths creates new opportunities for multiplexing with existing tools. We demonstrate the utility of BICYCLs for controlling protein subcellular localization and transcriptional processes in mammalian cells and for multiplexing with existing blue-light tools.

Orthogonal Light-Dependent Membrane Adhesion Induces Social Self-Sorting and Member-Specific DNA Communication in Synthetic Cell Communities.

blue red iLID PhyB/PIF6 in vitro Extracellular optogenetics Multichromatic
Small, 4 Jan 2023 DOI: 10.1002/smll.202206474 Link to full text
Abstract: Developing orthogonal chemical communication pathways in diverse synthetic cell communities is a considerable challenge due to the increased crosstalk and interference associated with large numbers of different types of sender-receiver pairs. Herein, the authors control which sender-receiver pairs communicate in a three-membered community of synthetic cells through red and blue light illumination. Semipermeable protein-polymer-based synthetic cells (proteinosomes) with complementary membrane-attached protein adhesion communicate through single-stranded DNA oligomers and synergistically process biochemical information within a community consisting of one sender and two different receiver populations. Different pairs of red and blue light-responsive protein-protein interactions act as membrane adhesion mediators between the sender and receivers such that they self-assemble and socially self-sort into different multicellular structures under red and blue light. Consequently, distinct sender-receiver pairs come into the signaling range depending on the light illumination and are able to communicate specifically without activation of the other receiver population. Overall, this work shows how photoswitchable membrane adhesion gives rise to different self-sorting protocell patterns that mediate member-specific DNA-based communication in ternary populations of synthetic cells and provides a step towards the design of orthogonal chemical communication networks in diverse communities of synthetic cells.


blue green red CcaS/CcaR Cph1 YtvA E. coli Multichromatic
J Cell Biochem, Nov 2022 DOI: Link to full text
Abstract: Retraction: "Long noncoding RNA ZFPM2-AS1 is involved in lung adenocarcinoma via miR-511-3p/AFF4 pathway," by Juan Li, Jun Ge, Ye Yang, Bin Liu, Min Zheng, and Rui Shi, J Cell Biochem. 2020; 2534-2542: The above article, published online on November 6, 2019, in Wiley Online Library ( has been retracted by agreement between the journal's Editor in Chief, Prof. Dr. Christian Behl, and Wiley Periodicals LLC. The retraction has been agreed after the authors stated that unintentional errors occurred during the research process, and the experimental results cannot be verified. Thus, the conclusions are considered to be invalid. The authors were not available for a final confirmation of the retraction.

Multichromatic Control of Signaling Pathways in Mammalian Cells.

blue red CRY2/CIB1 PhyB/PIF6 HEK293 Signaling cascade control Multichromatic
Adv Biosyst, 12 Oct 2020 DOI: 10.1002/adbi.202000196 Link to full text
Abstract: The precise control of signaling proteins is a prerequisite to decipher the complexity of the signaling network and to reveal and to study pathways involved in regulating cellular metabolism and gene expression. Optogenetic approaches play an emerging role as they enable the spatiotemporal control of signaling processes. Herein, a multichromatic system is developed by combining the blue light cryptochrome 2 system and the red/far-red light phytochrome B system. The use of three wavelengths allows the orthogonal control of the RAF/ERK and the AKT signaling pathway. Continuous exposure of cells to blue light leads to activation of AKT while simultaneous pulses of red and far-red light enable the modulation of ERK signaling in cells with constantly active AKT signaling. The optimized, orthogonal multichromatic system presented here is a valuable tool to better understand the fine grained and intricate processes involved in cell fate decisions.

Optogenetic control of gene expression in plants in the presence of ambient white light.

blue red EL222 PhyB/PIF6 A. thaliana leaf protoplasts N. benthamiana in vivo Transgene expression Multichromatic
Nat Methods, 29 Jun 2020 DOI: 10.1038/s41592-020-0868-y Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetics is the genetic approach for controlling cellular processes with light. It provides spatiotemporal, quantitative and reversible control over biological signaling and metabolic processes, overcoming limitations of chemically inducible systems. However, optogenetics lags in plant research because ambient light required for growth leads to undesired system activation. We solved this issue by developing plant usable light-switch elements (PULSE), an optogenetic tool for reversibly controlling gene expression in plants under ambient light. PULSE combines a blue-light-regulated repressor with a red-light-inducible switch. Gene expression is only activated under red light and remains inactive under white light or in darkness. Supported by a quantitative mathematical model, we characterized PULSE in protoplasts and achieved high induction rates, and we combined it with CRISPR-Cas9-based technologies to target synthetic signaling and developmental pathways. We applied PULSE to control immune responses in plant leaves and generated Arabidopsis transgenic plants. PULSE opens broad experimental avenues in plant research and biotechnology.

Light-powered Escherichia coli cell division for chemical production.

blue red BphS EL222 E. coli Cell cycle control Endogenous gene expression Immediate control of second messengers Multichromatic
Nat Commun, 8 May 2020 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-16154-3 Link to full text
Abstract: Cell division can perturb the metabolic performance of industrial microbes. The C period of cell division starts from the initiation to the termination of DNA replication, whereas the D period is the bacterial division process. Here, we first shorten the C and D periods of E. coli by controlling the expression of the ribonucleotide reductase NrdAB and division proteins FtsZA through blue light and near-infrared light activation, respectively. It increases the specific surface area to 3.7 μm-1 and acetoin titer to 67.2 g·L-1. Next, we prolong the C and D periods of E. coli by regulating the expression of the ribonucleotide reductase NrdA and division protein inhibitor SulA through blue light activation-repression and near-infrared (NIR) light activation, respectively. It improves the cell volume to 52.6 μm3 and poly(lactate-co-3-hydroxybutyrate) titer to 14.31 g·L-1. Thus, the optogenetic-based cell division regulation strategy can improve the efficiency of microbial cell factories.

Optogenetic regulation of endogenous proteins.

blue near-infrared AsLOV2 BphP1/Q-PAS1 HeLa U-2 OS Signaling cascade control Control of cytoskeleton / cell motility / cell shape Multichromatic
Nat Commun, 30 Jan 2020 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-14460-4 Link to full text
Abstract: Techniques of protein regulation, such as conditional gene expression, RNA interference, knock-in and knock-out, lack sufficient spatiotemporal accuracy, while optogenetic tools suffer from non-physiological response due to overexpression artifacts. Here we present a near-infrared light-activatable optogenetic system, which combines the specificity and orthogonality of intrabodies with the spatiotemporal precision of optogenetics. We engineer optically-controlled intrabodies to regulate genomically expressed protein targets and validate the possibility to further multiplex protein regulation via dual-wavelength optogenetic control. We apply this system to regulate cytoskeletal and enzymatic functions of two non-tagged endogenous proteins, actin and RAS GTPase, involved in complex functional networks sensitive to perturbations. The optogenetically-enhanced intrabodies allow fast and reversible regulation of both proteins, as well as simultaneous monitoring of RAS signaling with visible-light biosensors, enabling all-optical approach. Growing number of intrabodies should make their incorporation into optogenetic tools the versatile technology to regulate endogenous targets.

High-throughput multicolor optogenetics in microwell plates.

blue red iLID PhyB/PIF6 HEK293T NIH/3T3 Signaling cascade control Multichromatic
Nat Protoc, 24 Jun 2019 DOI: 10.1038/s41596-019-0178-y Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetic probes can be powerful tools for dissecting complexity in cell biology, but there is a lack of instrumentation to exploit their potential for automated, high-information-content experiments. This protocol describes the construction and use of the optoPlate-96, a platform for high-throughput three-color optogenetics experiments that allows simultaneous manipulation of common red- and blue-light-sensitive optogenetic probes. The optoPlate-96 enables illumination of individual wells in 96-well microwell plates or in groups of wells in 384-well plates. Its design ensures that there will be no cross-illumination between microwells in 96-well plates, and an active cooling system minimizes sample heating during light-intensive experiments. This protocol details the steps to assemble, test, and use the optoPlate-96. The device can be fully assembled without specialized equipment beyond a 3D printer and a laser cutter, starting from open-source design files and commercially available components. We then describe how to perform a typical optogenetics experiment using the optoPlate-96 to stimulate adherent mammalian cells. Although optoPlate-96 experiments are compatible with any plate-based readout, we describe analysis using quantitative single-cell immunofluorescence. This workflow thus allows complex optogenetics experiments (independent control of stimulation colors, intensity, dynamics, and time points) with high-dimensional outputs at single-cell resolution. Starting from 3D-printed and laser-cut components, assembly and testing of the optoPlate-96 can be accomplished in 3-4 h, at a cost of ~$600. A full optoPlate-96 experiment with immunofluorescence analysis can be performed within ~24 h, but this estimate is variable depending on the cell type and experimental parameters.

Independent Blue and Red Light Triggered Narcissistic Self-Sorting Self-Assembly of Colloidal Particles.

blue red Cph1 VVD in vitro Extracellular optogenetics Multichromatic
Small, 21 May 2019 DOI: 10.1002/smll.201901801 Link to full text
Abstract: The ability of living systems to self-sort different cells into separate assemblies and the ability to independently regulate different structures are one ingredient that gives rise to their spatiotemporal complexity. Here, this self-sorting behavior is replicated in a synthetic system with two types of colloidal particles; where each particle type independently self-assembles either under blue or red light into distinct clusters, known as narcissistic self-sorting. For this purpose, each particle type is functionalized either with the light-switchable protein VVDHigh or Cph1, which homodimerize under blue and red light, respectively. The response to different wavelengths of light and the high specificity of the protein interactions allows for the independent self-assembly of each particle type with blue or red light and narcissistic self-sorting. Moreover, as both of the photoswitchable protein interactions are reversible in the dark; also, the self-sorting is reversible and dynamic. Overall, the independent blue and red light controlled self-sorting in a synthetic system opens new possibilities to assemble adaptable, smart, and advanced materials similar to the complexity observed in tissues.

Neurotrophin receptor tyrosine kinases regulated with near-infrared light.

blue red DrBphP TULIP CHO HeLa mouse in vivo NIH/3T3 PC6-3 SH-SY5Y U-87 MG Signaling cascade control Multichromatic
Nat Commun, 8 Mar 2019 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-08988-3 Link to full text
Abstract: Optical control over the activity of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) provides an efficient way to reversibly and non-invasively map their functions. We combined catalytic domains of Trk (tropomyosin receptor kinase) family of RTKs, naturally activated by neurotrophins, with photosensory core module of DrBphP bacterial phytochrome to develop opto-kinases, termed Dr-TrkA and Dr-TrkB, reversibly switchable on and off with near-infrared and far-red light. We validated Dr-Trk ability to reversibly light-control several RTK pathways, calcium level, and demonstrated that their activation triggers canonical Trk signaling. Dr-TrkA induced apoptosis in neuroblastoma and glioblastoma, but not in other cell types. Absence of spectral crosstalk between Dr-Trks and blue-light-activatable LOV-domain-based translocation system enabled intracellular targeting of Dr-TrkA independently of its activation, additionally modulating Trk signaling. Dr-Trks have several superior characteristics that make them the opto-kinases of choice for regulation of RTK signaling: high activation range, fast and reversible photoswitching, and multiplexing with visible-light-controllable optogenetic tools.

Engineering a light-responsive, quorum quenching biofilm to mitigate biofouling on water purification membranes.

blue red BphS EB1 E. coli Control of cell-cell / cell-material interactions Immediate control of second messengers Multichromatic
Sci Adv, 7 Dec 2018 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau1459 Link to full text
Abstract: Quorum quenching (QQ) has been reported to be a promising approach for membrane biofouling control. Entrapment of QQ bacteria in porous matrices is required to retain them in continuously operated membrane processes and to prevent uncontrollable biofilm formation by the QQ bacteria on membrane surfaces. It would be more desirable if the formation and dispersal of biofilms by QQ bacteria could be controlled so that the QQ bacterial cells are self-immobilized, but the QQ biofilm itself still does not compromise membrane performance. In this study, we engineered a QQ bacterial biofilm whose growth and dispersal can be modulated by light through a dichromatic, optogenetic c-di-GMP gene circuit in which the bacterial cells sense near-infrared (NIR) light and blue light to adjust its biofilm formation by regulating the c-di-GMP level. We also demonstrated the potential application of the engineered light-responsive QQ biofilm in mitigating biofouling of water purification forward osmosis membranes. The c-di-GMP-targeted optogenetic approach for controllable biofilm development we have demonstrated here should prove widely applicable for designing other controllable biofilm-enabled applications such as biofilm-based biocatalysis.

Near-infrared light-controlled systems for gene transcription regulation, protein targeting and spectral multiplexing.

blue near-infrared AsLOV2 BphP1/PpsR2 BphP1/Q-PAS1 VVD HeLa mouse in vivo Multichromatic
Nat Protoc, 26 Apr 2018 DOI: 10.1038/nprot.2018.022 Link to full text
Abstract: Near-infrared (NIR, 740-780 nm) optogenetic systems are well-suited to spectral multiplexing with blue-light-controlled tools. Here, we present two protocols, one for regulation of gene transcription and another for control of protein localization, that use a NIR-responsive bacterial phytochrome BphP1-QPAS1 optogenetic pair. In the first protocol, cells are transfected with the optogenetic constructs for independently controlling gene transcription by NIR (BphP1-QPAS1) and blue (LightOn) light. The NIR and blue-light-controlled gene transcription systems show minimal spectral crosstalk and induce a 35- to 40-fold increase in reporter gene expression. In the second protocol, the BphP1-QPAS1 pair is combined with a light-oxygen-voltage-sensing (LOV) domain-based construct into a single optogenetic tool, termed iRIS. This dual-light-controllable protein localization tool allows tridirectional protein translocation among the cytoplasm, nucleus and plasma membrane. Both procedures can be performed within 3-5 d. Use of NIR light-controlled optogenetic systems should advance basic and biomedical research.

Bioprinting Living Biofilms through Optogenetic Manipulation.

blue red BlrP1 BphS P. aeruginosa Control of cell-cell / cell-material interactions Immediate control of second messengers Multichromatic
ACS Synth Biol, 18 Apr 2018 DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.8b00003 Link to full text
Abstract: In this paper, we present a new strategy for microprinting dense bacterial communities with a prescribed organization on a substrate. Unlike conventional bioprinting techniques that require bioinks, through optogenetic manipulation, we directly manipulated the behaviors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to allow these living bacteria to autonomically form patterned biofilms following prescribed illumination. The results showed that through optogenetic manipulation, patterned bacterial communities with high spatial resolution (approximately 10 μm) could be constructed in 6 h. Thus, optogenetic manipulation greatly increases the range of available bioprinting techniques.

Near-infrared light-controlled gene expression and protein targeting in neurons and non-neuronal cells.

blue near-infrared AsLOV2 BphP1/Q-PAS1 Cos-7 HEK293 HeLa Neuro-2a rat cortical neurons SH-SY5Y U-2 OS Multichromatic
Chembiochem, 21 Feb 2018 DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201700642 Link to full text
Abstract: Near-infrared (NIR) light-inducible binding of bacterial phytochrome BphP1 to its engineered partner QPAS1 is used for optical protein regulation in mammalian cells. However, there are no data on the application of the BphP1-QPAS1 pair in cells derived from various mammalian tissues. Here, we tested functionality of two BphP1-QPAS1-based optogenetic tools, such as an NIR and blue light-sensing system for control of protein localization (iRIS) and an NIR light-sensing system for transcription activation (TA), in several cell types including cortical neurons. We found that the performance of these optogenetic tools often rely on physiological properties of a specific cell type, such as nuclear transport, which may limit applicability of blue light-sensitive component of iRIS. In contrast, the NIR-light-sensing part of iRIS performed well in all tested cell types. The TA system showed the best performance in HeLa, U-2 OS and HEK-293 cells. Small size of the QPAS1 component allows designing AAV viral particles, which were applied to deliver the TA system to neurons.

Using Light-Activated Enzymes for Modulating Intracellular c-di-GMP Levels in Bacteria.

blue red BphS EB1 A. brasilense E. coli Multichromatic
Methods Mol Biol, 10 Sep 2017 DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7240-1_14 Link to full text
Abstract: Signaling pathways involving second messenger c-di-GMP regulate various aspects of bacterial physiology and behavior. We describe the use of a red light-activated diguanylate cyclase (c-di-GMP synthase) and a blue light-activated c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase (hydrolase) for manipulating intracellular c-di-GMP levels in bacterial cells. We illustrate the application of these enzymes in regulating several c-di-GMP-dependent phenotypes, i.e., motility and biofilm phenotypes in E. coli and chemotactic behavior in the alphaproteobacterium Azospirillum brasilense. We expect these light-activated enzymes to be also useful in regulating c-di-GMP-dependent processes occurring at the fast timescale, for spatial control of bacterial populations, as well as for analyzing c-di-GMP-dependent phenomena at the single-cell level.

Engineering RGB color vision into Escherichia coli.

blue green red CcaS/CcaR Cph1 YtvA E. coli Multichromatic
Nat Chem Biol, 22 May 2017 DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.2390 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetic tools use colored light to rapidly control gene expression in space and time. We designed a genetically encoded system that gives Escherichia coli the ability to distinguish between red, green, and blue (RGB) light and respond by changing gene expression. We use this system to produce 'color photographs' on bacterial culture plates by controlling pigment production and to redirect metabolic flux by expressing CRISPRi guide RNAs.

A photoconversion model for full spectral programming and multiplexing of optogenetic systems.

green red CcaS/CcaR Cph1 E. coli Multichromatic
Mol Syst Biol, 24 Apr 2017 DOI: 10.15252/msb.20167456 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetics combines externally applied light signals and genetically engineered photoreceptors to control cellular processes with unmatched precision. Here, we develop a mathematical model of wavelength- and intensity-dependent photoconversion, signaling, and output gene expression for our two previously engineered light-sensing Escherichia coli two-component systems. To parameterize the model, we develop a simple set of spectral and dynamical calibration experiments using our recent open-source "Light Plate Apparatus" device. In principle, the parameterized model should predict the gene expression response to any time-varying signal from any mixture of light sources with known spectra. We validate this capability experimentally using a suite of challenging light sources and signals very different from those used during the parameterization process. Furthermore, we use the model to compensate for significant spectral cross-reactivity inherent to the two sensors in order to develop a new method for programming two simultaneous and independent gene expression signals within the same cell. Our optogenetic multiplexing method will enable powerful new interrogations of how metabolic, signaling, and decision-making pathways integrate multiple input signals.

A Phytochrome-Derived Photoswitch for Intracellular Transport.

blue red PhyB/PIF6 TULIP Cos-7 U-2 OS Organelle manipulation Multichromatic
ACS Synth Biol, 30 Mar 2017 DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.6b00333 Link to full text
Abstract: Cells depend on the proper positioning of their organelles, suggesting that active manipulation of organelle positions can be used to explore spatial cell biology and to restore cellular defects caused by organelle misplacement. Recently, blue-light dependent recruitment of specific motors to selected organelles has been shown to alter organelle motility and positioning, but these approaches lack rapid and active reversibility. The light-dependent interaction of phytochrome B with its interacting factors has been shown to function as a photoswitch, dimerizing under red light and dissociating under far-red light. Here we engineer phytochrome domains into photoswitches for intracellular transport that enable the reversible interaction between organelles and motor proteins. Using patterned illumination and live-cell imaging, we demonstrate that this system provides unprecedented spatiotemporal control. We also demonstrate that it can be used in combination with a blue-light dependent system to independently control the positioning of two different organelles. Precise optogenetic control of organelle motility and positioning will provide a better understanding of and control over the spatial biology of cells.

Near-infrared optogenetic pair for protein regulation and spectral multiplexing.

blue near-infrared AsLOV2 BphP1/PpsR2 BphP1/Q-PAS1 VVD HeLa in vitro Multichromatic
Nat Chem Biol, 27 Mar 2017 DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.2343 Link to full text
Abstract: Multifunctional optogenetic systems are in high demand for use in basic and biomedical research. Near-infrared-light-inducible binding of bacterial phytochrome BphP1 to its natural PpsR2 partner is beneficial for simultaneous use with blue-light-activatable tools. However, applications of the BphP1-PpsR2 pair are limited by the large size, multidomain structure and oligomeric behavior of PpsR2. Here, we engineered a single-domain BphP1 binding partner, Q-PAS1, which is three-fold smaller and lacks oligomerization. We exploited a helix-PAS fold of Q-PAS1 to develop several near-infrared-light-controllable transcription regulation systems, enabling either 40-fold activation or inhibition. The light-induced BphP1-Q-PAS1 interaction allowed modification of the chromatin epigenetic state. Multiplexing the BphP1-Q-PAS1 pair with a blue-light-activatable LOV-domain-based system demonstrated their negligible spectral crosstalk. By integrating the Q-PAS1 and LOV domains in a single optogenetic tool, we achieved tridirectional protein targeting, independently controlled by near-infrared and blue light, thus demonstrating the superiority of Q-PAS1 for spectral multiplexing and engineering of multicomponent systems.

Optogenetic Module for Dichromatic Control of c-di-GMP Signaling.

blue red BphS EB1 E. coli in vitro Immediate control of second messengers Multichromatic
J Bacteriol, 20 Mar 2017 DOI: 10.1128/jb.00014-17 Link to full text
Abstract: Many aspects of bacterial physiology and behavior including motility, surface attachment, and cell cycle, are controlled by the c-di-GMP-dependent signaling pathways on the scale of seconds-to-minutes. Interrogation of such processes in real time requires tools for introducing rapid and reversible changes in intracellular c-di-GMP levels. Inducing expression of genes encoding c-di-GMP synthetic (diguanylate cyclases) and degrading (c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase) enzymes by chemicals may not provide adequate temporal control. In contrast, light-controlled diguanylate cyclases and phosphodiesterases can be quickly activated and inactivated. A red/near-infrared light-regulated diguanylate cyclase, BphS, has been engineered earlier, yet a complementary light-activated c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase has been lacking. In search of such a phosphodiesterase, we investigated two homologous proteins from Allochromatium vinosum and Magnetococcus marinus, designated BldP, which contain C-terminal EAL-BLUF modules, where EAL is a c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase domain and BLUF is a blue light sensory domain. Characterization of the BldP proteins in Escherichia coli and in vitro showed that they possess light-activated c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase activities. Interestingly, light activation in both enzymes was dependent on oxygen levels. The truncated EAL-BLUF fragment from A. vinosum BldP lacked phosphodiesterase activity, whereas a similar fragment from M. marinus BldP, designated EB1, possessed such activity that was highly (>30-fold) upregulated by light. Following light withdrawal, EB1 reverted to the inactive ground state with a half-life of ∼6 min. Therefore, the blue light-activated phosphodiesterase, EB1, can be used in combination with the red/near-infrared light-regulated diguanylate cyclase, BphS, for bidirectional regulation of c-di-GMP-dependent processes in E. coli as well as other bacterial and nonbacterial cells.IMPORTANCE Regulation of motility, attachment to surfaces, cell cycle, and other bacterial processes controlled by the c-di-GMP signaling pathways occurs at a fast (seconds-to-minutes) pace. Interrogating these processes at high temporal and spatial resolution using chemicals is difficult-to-impossible, while optogenetic approaches may prove useful. We identified and characterized a robust, blue light-activated c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase (hydrolase) that complements a previously engineered red/near-infrared light-regulated diguanylate cyclase (c-di-GMP synthase). These two enzymes form a dichromatic module for manipulating intracellular c-di-GMP levels in bacterial and nonbacterial cells.
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