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 647 results
1.

Chronic optogenetic induction of stress granules is cytotoxic and reveals the evolution of ALS-FTD pathology.

blue CRY2/CRY2 human IPSCs U-2 OS Organelle manipulation
Elife, 20 Mar 2019 DOI: 10.7554/elife.39578 Link to full text
Abstract: Stress granules (SGs) are non-membrane-bound RNA-protein granules that assemble through phase separation in response to cellular stress. Disturbances in SG dynamics have been implicated as a primary driver of neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), suggesting the hypothesis that these diseases reflect an underlying disturbance in the dynamics and material properties of SGs. However, this concept has remained largely untestable in available models of SG assembly, which require the confounding variable of exogenous stressors. Here we introduce a light-inducible SG system, termed OptoGranules, based on optogenetic multimerization of G3BP1, which is an essential scaffold protein for SG assembly. In this system, which permits experimental control of SGs in living cells in the absence of exogenous stressors, we demonstrate that persistent or repetitive assembly of SGs is cytotoxic and is accompanied by the evolution of SGs to cytoplasmic inclusions that recapitulate the pathology of ALS-FTD.
2.

Optically inducible membrane recruitment and signaling systems.

blue near-infrared Cryptochromes LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Curr Opin Struct Biol, 15 Mar 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.sbi.2019.01.017 Link to full text
Abstract: Optical induction of intracellular signaling by membrane-associated and integral membrane proteins allows spatiotemporally precise control over second messenger signaling and cytoskeletal rearrangements that are important to cell migration, development, and proliferation. Optogenetic membrane recruitment of a protein-of-interest to control its signaling by altering subcellular localization is a versatile means to these ends. Here, we summarize the signaling characteristics and underlying structure-function of RGS-LOV photoreceptors as single-component membrane recruitment tools that rapidly, reversibly, and efficiently carry protein cargo from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane by a light-regulated electrostatic interaction with the membrane itself. We place the technology-relevant features of these recently described natural photosensory proteins in context of summarized protein engineering and design strategies for optically controlling membrane protein signaling.
3.

Membrane-Associated, Not Cytoplasmic or Nuclear, FGFR1 Induces Neuronal Differentiation.

blue VfAU1-LOV HEK293 PC-12 U-251 Signaling cascade control Cell differentiation
Cells, 14 Mar 2019 DOI: 10.3390/cells8030243 Link to full text
Abstract: The intracellular transport of receptor tyrosine kinases results in the differential activation of various signaling pathways. In this study, optogenetic stimulation of fibroblast growth factor receptor type 1 (FGFR1) was performed to study the effects of subcellular targeting of receptor kinases on signaling and neurite outgrowth. The catalytic domain of FGFR1 fused to the algal light-oxygen-voltage-sensing (LOV) domain was directed to different cellular compartments (plasma membrane, cytoplasm and nucleus) in human embryonic kidney (HEK293) and pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. Blue light stimulation elevated the pERK and pPLCγ1 levels in membrane-opto-FGFR1-transfected cells similarly to ligand-induced receptor activation; however, no changes in pAKT levels were observed. PC12 cells transfected with membrane-opto-FGFR1 exhibited significantly longer neurites after light stimulation than after growth factor treatment, and significantly more neurites extended from their cell bodies. The activation of cytoplasmic FGFR1 kinase enhanced ERK signaling in HEK293 cells but not in PC12 cells and did not induce neuronal differentiation. The stimulation of FGFR1 kinase in the nucleus also did not result in signaling changes or neurite outgrowth. We conclude that FGFR1 kinase needs to be associated with membranes to induce the differentiation of PC12 cells mainly via ERK activation.
4.

Bacteriophytochromes - from informative model systems of phytochrome function to powerful tools in cell biology.

blue near-infrared red LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Curr Opin Struct Biol, 14 Mar 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.sbi.2019.02.005 Link to full text
Abstract: Bacteriophytochromes are a subfamily of the diverse light responsive phytochrome photoreceptors. Considering their preferential interaction with biliverdin IXα as endogenous cofactor, they have recently been used for creating optogenetic tools and engineering fluorescent probes. Ideal absorption characteristics for the activation of bacteriophytochrome-based systems in the therapeutic near-infrared window as well the availability of biliverdin in mammalian tissues have resulted in tremendous progress in re-engineering bacteriophytochromes for diverse applications. At the same time, both the structural analysis and the functional characterization of diverse naturally occurring bacteriophytochrome systems have unraveled remarkable differences in signaling mechanisms and have so far only touched the surface of the evolutionary diversity within the family of bacteriophytochromes. This review highlights recent findings and future challenges.
5.

Design, construction, and validation of optogenetic proteins.

blue CRY2/CIB1 HeLa MTLn3 MVD7
Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol, 11 Mar 2019 DOI: 10.1016/bs.mie.2019.02.019 Link to full text
Abstract: Cellular optogenetics employs light-regulated, genetically encoded protein actuators to perturb cellular signaling with unprecedented spatial and temporal control. Here, we present a potentially generalized approach for transforming a given protein of interest (POI) into an optogenetic species. We describe the rational and methods by which we developed three different optogenetic POIs utilizing the Cry2-Cib photodimerizing pair. The process pipeline is highlighted by (1) developing a low level, constitutively active POI that is independent of endogenous regulation, (2) fusion of the mutant protein of interest to an optogenetic photodimerizing system, and (3) light-mediated recruitment of the light-responsive POI to specific subcellular regions.
6.

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.
7.

B12-based photoreceptors: from structure and function to applications in optogenetics and synthetic biology.

green Cobalamin-binding domains Review
Curr Opin Struct Biol, 6 Mar 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.sbi.2019.01.020 Link to full text
Abstract: Vitamin B12-based photoreceptor proteins sense ultraviolet (UV), blue or green light using 5'-deoxyadenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl). The prototype of this widespread bacterial photoreceptor family, CarH, controls light-dependent gene expression in photoprotective cellular responses. It represses transcription in the dark by binding to operator DNA as an AdoCbl-bound tetramer, whose disruption by light relieves operator binding to allow transcription. Structures of the 'dark' (free and DNA-bound) and 'light' CarH states and studies on the unusual AdoCbl photochemistry have provided fundamental insights into these photoreceptors. We highlight these, the plasticity within a conserved mode of action among CarH homologs, their distribution, and their promising applications in optogenetics and synthetic biology.
8.

Controlling protein conformation with light.

blue cyan Dronpa145KN Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Review
Curr Opin Struct Biol, 5 Mar 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.sbi.2019.01.012 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetics, genetically encoded engineering of proteins to respond to light, has enabled precise control of the timing and localization of protein activity in live cells and for specific cell types in animals. Light-sensitive ion channels have become well established tools in neurobiology, and a host of new methods have recently enabled the control of other diverse protein structures as well. This review focuses on approaches to switch proteins between physiologically relevant, naturally occurring conformations using light, accomplished by incorporating light-responsive engineered domains that sterically and allosterically control the active site.
9.

RNA Binding Antagonizes Neurotoxic Phase Transitions of TDP-43.

blue CRY2/CRY2 CRY2olig HEK293 ReNcell VM Organelle manipulation
Neuron, 27 Feb 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.01.048 Link to full text
Abstract: TDP-43 proteinopathy is a pathological hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia where cytoplasmic TDP-43 inclusions are observed within degenerating regions of patient postmortem tissue. The mechanism by which TDP-43 aggregates has remained elusive due to technological limitations, which prevent the analysis of specific TDP-43 interactions in live cells. We present an optogenetic approach to reliably induce TDP-43 proteinopathy under spatiotemporal control. We show that the formation of pathologically relevant inclusions is driven by aberrant interactions between low-complexity domains of TDP-43 that are antagonized by RNA binding. Although stress granules are hypothesized to be a conduit for seeding TDP-43 proteinopathy, we demonstrate pathological inclusions outside these RNA-rich structures. Furthermore, we show that aberrant phase transitions of cytoplasmic TDP-43 are neurotoxic and that treatment with oligonucleotides composed of TDP-43 target sequences prevent inclusions and rescue neurotoxicity. Collectively, these studies provide insight into the mechanisms that underlie TDP-43 proteinopathy and present a potential avenue for therapeutic intervention.
10.

Light-Controlled Affinity Purification of Protein Complexes Exemplified by the Resting ZAP70 Interactome.

red PhyB/PIF6 in vitro
Front Immunol, 26 Feb 2019 DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00226 Link to full text
Abstract: Multiprotein complexes control the behavior of cells, such as of lymphocytes of the immune system. Methods to affinity purify protein complexes and to determine their interactome by mass spectrometry are thus widely used. One drawback of these methods is the presence of false positives. In fact, the elution of the protein of interest (POI) is achieved by changing the biochemical properties of the buffer, so that unspecifically bound proteins (the false positives) may also elute. Here, we developed an optogenetics-derived and light-controlled affinity purification method based on the light-regulated reversible protein interaction between phytochrome B (PhyB) and its phytochrome interacting factor 6 (PIF6). We engineered a truncated variant of PIF6 comprising only 22 amino acids that can be genetically fused to the POI as an affinity tag. Thereby the POI can be purified with PhyB-functionalized resin material using 660 nm light for binding and washing, and 740 nm light for elution. Far-red light-induced elution is effective but very mild as the same buffer is used for the wash and elution. As proof-of-concept, we expressed PIF-tagged variants of the tyrosine kinase ZAP70 in ZAP70-deficient Jurkat T cells, purified ZAP70 and associating proteins using our light-controlled system, and identified the interaction partners by quantitative mass spectrometry. Using unstimulated T cells, we were able to detect the know interaction partners, and could filter out all other proteins.
11.

Photodimerization systems for regulating protein-protein interactions with light.

blue cyan near-infrared red UV Cryptochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Curr Opin Struct Biol, 25 Feb 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.sbi.2019.01.021 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetic dimerizers are modular domains that can be utilized in a variety of versatile ways to modulate cellular biochemistry. Because of their modularity, many applications using these tools can be easily transferred to new targets without extensive engineering. While a number of photodimerizer systems are currently available, the field remains nascent, with new optimizations for existing systems and new approaches to regulating biological function continuing to be introduced at a steady pace.
12.

Physical Plasma Membrane Perturbation Using Subcellular Optogenetics Drives Integrin-Activated Cell Migration.

blue CRY2/CIB1 iLID RAW264.7 Control of cytoskeleton / cell motility / cell shape
ACS Synth Biol, 22 Feb 2019 DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.8b00356 Link to full text
Abstract: Cells experience physical deformations to the plasma membrane that can modulate cell behaviors like migration. Understanding the molecular basis for how physical cues affect dynamic cellular responses requires new approaches that can physically perturb the plasma membrane with rapid, reversible, subcellular control. Here we present an optogenetic approach based on light-inducible dimerization that alters plasma membrane properties by recruiting cytosolic proteins at high concentrations to a target site. Surprisingly, this polarized accumulation of proteins in a cell induces directional amoeboid migration in the opposite direction. Consistent with known effects of constraining high concentrations of proteins to a membrane in vitro, there is localized curvature and tension decrease in the plasma membrane. Integrin activity, sensitive to mechanical forces, is activated in this region. Localized mechanical activation of integrin with optogenetics allowed simultaneous imaging of the molecular and cellular response, helping uncover a positive feedback loop comprising SFK- and ERK-dependent RhoA activation, actomyosin contractility, rearward membrane flow, and membrane tension decrease underlying this mode of cell migration.
13.

Light-Induced Protein Clustering for Optogenetic Interference and Protein Interaction Analysis in Drosophila S2 Cells.

blue CRY2/CIB1 CRY2olig Schneider 2
Biomolecules, 12 Feb 2019 DOI: 10.3390/biom9020061 Link to full text
Abstract: Drosophila Schneider 2 (S2) cells are a simple and powerful system commonly used in cell biology because they are well suited for high resolution microscopy and RNAi-mediated depletion. However, understanding dynamic processes, such as cell division, also requires methodology to interfere with protein function with high spatiotemporal control. In this research study, we report the adaptation of an optogenetic tool to Drosophila S2 cells. Light-activated reversible inhibition by assembled trap (LARIAT) relies on the rapid light-dependent heterodimerization between cryptochrome 2 (CRY2) and cryptochrome-interacting bHLH 1 (CIB1) to form large protein clusters. An anti-green fluorescent protein (GFP) nanobody fused with CRY2 allows this method to quickly trap any GFP-tagged protein in these light-induced protein clusters. We evaluated clustering kinetics in response to light for different LARIAT modules, and showed the ability of GFP-LARIAT to inactivate the mitotic protein Mps1 and to disrupt the membrane localization of the polarity regulator Lethal Giant Larvae (Lgl). Moreover, we validated light-induced co-clustering assays to assess protein-protein interactions in S2 cells. In conclusion, GFP-based LARIAT is a versatile tool to answer different biological questions, since it enables probing of dynamic processes and protein-protein interactions with high spatiotemporal resolution in Drosophila S2 cells.
14.

Signaling Dynamics Control Cell Fate in the Early Drosophila Embryo.

blue iLID D. melanogaster in vivo Signaling cascade control Developmental processes
Dev Cell, 11 Feb 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.01.009 Link to full text
Abstract: The Erk mitogen-activated protein kinase plays diverse roles in animal development. Its widespread reuse raises a conundrum: when a single kinase like Erk is activated, how does a developing cell know which fate to adopt? We combine optogenetic control with genetic perturbations to dissect Erk-dependent fates in the early Drosophila embryo. We find that Erk activity is sufficient to "posteriorize" 88% of the embryo, inducing gut endoderm-like gene expression and morphogenetic movements in all cells within this region. Gut endoderm fate adoption requires at least 1 h of signaling, whereas a 30-min Erk pulse specifies a distinct ectodermal cell type, intermediate neuroblasts. We find that the endoderm-ectoderm cell fate switch is controlled by the cumulative load of Erk activity, not the duration of a single pulse. The fly embryo thus harbors a classic example of dynamic control, where the temporal profile of Erk signaling selects between distinct physiological outcomes.
15.

Developmental Erk Signaling Illuminated.

blue LOV domains Review
Dev Cell, 11 Feb 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.01.022 Link to full text
Abstract: How a small number of signaling pathways can be re-used in distinct embryonic contexts to control different fates remains unclear. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Johnson and Toettcher (2019) use optogenetic approaches to explore how different dynamic ERK signaling states control specific developmental fates in the Drosophila embryo.
16.

Optogenetic Control of Subcellular Protein Location and Signaling in Vertebrate Embryos.

red PhyB/PIF6 zebrafish in vivo
Methods Mol Biol, 9 Feb 2019 DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9009-2_10 Link to full text
Abstract: This chapter describes the use of optogenetic heterodimerization in single cells within whole-vertebrate embryos. This method allows the use of light to reversibly bind together an "anchor" protein and a "bait" protein. Proteins can therefore be directed to specific subcellular compartments, altering biological processes such as cell polarity and signaling. I detail methods for achieving transient expression of fusion proteins encoding the phytochrome heterodimerization system in early zebrafish embryos (Buckley et al., Dev Cell 36(1):117-126, 2016) and describe the imaging parameters used to achieve subcellular light patterning.
17.

Continued Activity of the Pioneer Factor Zelda Is Required to Drive Zygotic Genome Activation.

blue CRY2/CRY2 D. melanogaster in vivo Endogenous gene expression
Mol Cell, 9 Feb 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2019.01.014 Link to full text
Abstract: Reprogramming cell fate during the first stages of embryogenesis requires that transcriptional activators gain access to the genome and remodel the zygotic transcriptome. Nonetheless, it is not clear whether the continued activity of these pioneering factors is required throughout zygotic genome activation or whether they are only required early to establish cis-regulatory regions. To address this question, we developed an optogenetic strategy to rapidly and reversibly inactivate the master regulator of genome activation in Drosophila, Zelda. Using this strategy, we demonstrate that continued Zelda activity is required throughout genome activation. We show that Zelda binds DNA in the context of nucleosomes and suggest that this allows Zelda to occupy the genome despite the rapid division cycles in the early embryo. These data identify a powerful strategy to inactivate transcription factor function during development and suggest that reprogramming in the embryo may require specific, continuous pioneering functions to activate the genome.
18.

Optogenetic Navigation of Routes Leading to Protein Amyloidogenesis in Bacteria.

blue AsLOV2 E. coli
J Mol Biol, 2 Feb 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2019.01.037 Link to full text
Abstract: Modulation of liquid-liquid and liquid-hydrogel phase transitions is central to avoid the cytotoxic aggregation of proteins in eukaryotic cells, but knowledge on its relevance in bacteria is limited. Here the power of optogenetics to engineer proteins as light-responsive switches has been used to control the balance between solubility and aggregation for LOV2-WH1, a chimera between the plant blue light-responsive domain LOV2 and the bacterial prion-like protein RepA-WH1. These proteins were first linked by fusing, as a continuous α-helix, the C-terminal photo-transducer Jα helix in LOV2 with the N-terminal domain-closure α1 helix in RepA-WH1, and then improved for light-responsiveness by including mutations in the Jα moiety. In the darkness and in a crowded solution in vitro, LOV2-WH1 nucleates the irreversible assembly of amyloid fibers into a hydrogel. However, under blue light illumination LOV2-WH1 assembles as soluble oligomers. When expressed in Escherichia coli, LOV2-WH1 forms in the darkness large intracellular amyloid inclusions compatible with bacterial proliferation. Strikingly, under blue light LOV2-WH1 aggregates decrease in size while they become detrimental for bacterial growth. LOV2-WH1 optogenetics governs the assembly of mutually exclusive inert amyloid fibers or cytotoxic oligomers, thus enabling the navigation of the conformational landscape of protein amyloidogenesis to generate potential photo-activated anti-bacterial devices (optobiotics).
19.

Near-infrared light remotely up-regulate autophagy with spatiotemporal precision via upconversion optogenetic nanosystem.

blue CRY2/CIB1 HEK293T HeLa mouse in vivo Signaling cascade control
Biomaterials, 1 Feb 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2019.01.042 Link to full text
Abstract: In vivo noninvasively manipulating biological functions by the mediation of biosafe near infrared (NIR) light is becoming increasingly popular. For these applications, upconversion rare-earth nanomaterial holds great promise as a novel photonic element, and has been widely adopted in optogenetics. In this article, an upconversion optogenetic nanosystem that was promised to achieve autophagy up-regulation with spatiotemporal precision was designed. The implantable, wireless, recyclable, less-invasive and biocompatible system worked via two separated parts: blue light-receptor optogenetics-autophagy upregulation plasmids, for protein import; upconversion rods-encapsulated flexible capsule (UCRs-capsule), for converting tissue-penetrative NIR light into local visible blue light. Results validated that this system could achieve up-regulation of autophagy in vitro (in both HeLa and 293T cell lines) and remotely penetrate tissue (∼3.5 mm) in vivo. Since autophagy serves at a central position in intracellular signalling pathways, which is correlative with diverse pathologies, we expect that this method could establish an upconversion material-based autophagy up-regulation strategy for fundamental and clinical applications.
20.

Optogenetic tools light up phase separation.

blue LOV domains Review
Nat Methods, 30 Jan 2019 DOI: 10.1038/s41592-019-0310-5 Link to full text
Abstract: Abstract not available.
21.

Synthetic switches and regulatory circuits in plants.

blue green near-infrared red UV Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Plant Physiol, 28 Jan 2019 DOI: 10.1104/pp.18.01362 Link to full text
Abstract: Synthetic biology is an established but ever-growing interdisciplinary field of research currently revolutionizing biomedicine studies and the biotech industry. The engineering of synthetic circuitry in bacterial, yeast, and animal systems prompted considerable advances for the understanding and manipulation of genetic and metabolic networks; however, their implementation in the plant field lags behind. Here, we review theoretical-experimental approaches to the engineering of synthetic chemical- and light-regulated (optogenetic) switches for the targeted interrogation and control of cellular processes, including existing applications in the plant field. We highlight the strategies for the modular assembly of genetic parts into synthetic circuits of different complexity, ranging from Boolean logic gates and oscillatory devices up to semi- and fully synthetic open- and closed-loop molecular and cellular circuits. Finally, we explore potential applications of these approaches for the engineering of novel functionalities in plants, including understanding complex signaling networks, improving crop productivity, and the production of biopharmaceuticals.
22.

Phytochrome-Based Extracellular Matrix with Reversibly Tunable Mechanical Properties.

red Cph1 in vitro Signaling cascade control Control of cell-cell / cell-material interactions
Adv Mater Weinheim, 27 Jan 2019 DOI: 10.1002/adma.201806727 Link to full text
Abstract: Interrogation and control of cellular fate and function using optogenetics is providing revolutionary insights into biology. Optogenetic control of cells is achieved by coupling genetically encoded photoreceptors to cellular effectors and enables unprecedented spatiotemporal control of signaling processes. Here, a fast and reversibly switchable photoreceptor is used to tune the mechanical properties of polymer materials in a fully reversible, wavelength-specific, and dose- and space-controlled manner. By integrating engineered cyanobacterial phytochrome 1 into a poly(ethylene glycol) matrix, hydrogel materials responsive to light in the cell-compatible red/far-red spectrum are synthesized. These materials are applied to study in human mesenchymal stem cells how different mechanosignaling pathways respond to changing mechanical environments and to control the migration of primary immune cells in 3D. This optogenetics-inspired matrix allows fundamental questions of how cells react to dynamic mechanical environments to be addressed. Further, remote control of such matrices can create new opportunities for tissue engineering or provide a basis for optically stimulated drug depots.
23.

Perspective Tools for Optogenetics and Photopharmacology: From Design to Implementation.

blue green red UV Cryptochromes LOV domains Opsins Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Prog Photon Sci, 24 Jan 2019 DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-05974-3_8 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetics and photopharmacology are two perspective modern methodologies for control and monitoring of biological processes from an isolated cell to complex cell assemblies and organisms. Both methodologies use optically active components that being introduced into the cells of interest allow for optical control or monitoring of different cellular processes. In optogenetics, genetic materials are introduced into the cells to express light-sensitive proteins or protein constructs. In photopharmacology, photochromic compounds are delivered into a cell directly but not produced inside the cell from a genetic material. The development of both optogenetics and photopharmacology is inseparable from the design of improved tools (protein constructs or organic molecules) optimized for specific applications. Herein, we review the main tools that are used in modern optogenetics and photopharmaclogy and describe the types of cellular processes that can be controlled by these tools. Although a large number of different kinds of optogenetic tools exist, their performance can be evaluated with a limited number of metrics that have to be optimized for specific applications.We classify thesemetrics and describe the ways of their improvement.
24.

Blue Light Switchable Cell–Cell Interactions Provide Reversible and Spatiotemporal Control Towards Bottom-Up Tissue Engineering.

blue CRY2/CIB1 MDA-MB-231 Control of cell-cell / cell-material interactions
Adv Biosyst, 18 Jan 2019 DOI: 10.1002/adbi.201800310 Link to full text
Abstract: Controlling cell–cell interactions is central for understanding key cellular processes and bottom-up tissue assembly from single cells. The challenge is to control cell–cell interactions dynamically and reversibly with high spati- otemporal precision noninvasively and sustainably. In this study, cell–cell interactions are controlled with visible light using an optogenetic approach by expressing the blue light switchable proteins CRY2 or CIBN on the surfaces of cells. CRY2 and CIBN expressing cells form specific heterophilic interactions under blue light providing precise control in space and time. Further, these interactions are reversible in the dark and can be repeatedly and dynamically switched on and off. Unlike previous approaches, these genetically encoded proteins allow for long-term expression of the interaction domains and respond to nontoxic low intensity blue light. In addition, these interactions are suitable to assemble cells into 3D multicellular architectures. Overall, this approach captures the dynamic and reversible nature of cell–cell interactions and controls them noninvasively and sustainably both in space and time. This provides a new way of studying cell–cell interactions and assembling cellular building blocks into tissues with unmatched flexibility.
25.

Noninvasive optical activation of Flp recombinase for genetic manipulation in deep mouse brain regions.

blue CRY2/CIB1 Magnets HEK293T mouse in vivo Nucleic acid editing Neuronal activity control
Nat Commun, 18 Jan 2019 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-08282-8 Link to full text
Abstract: Spatiotemporal control of gene expression or labeling is a valuable strategy for identifying functions of genes within complex neural circuits. Here, we develop a highly light-sensitive and efficient photoactivatable Flp recombinase (PA-Flp) that is suitable for genetic manipulation in vivo. The highly light-sensitive property of PA-Flp is ideal for activation in deep mouse brain regions by illumination with a noninvasive light-emitting diode. In addition, PA-Flp can be extended to the Cre-lox system through a viral vector as Flp-dependent Cre expression platform, thereby activating both Flp and Cre. Finally, we demonstrate that PA-Flp-dependent, Cre-mediated Cav3.1 silencing in the medial septum increases object-exploration behavior in mice. Thus, PA-Flp is a noninvasive, highly efficient, and easy-to-use optogenetic module that offers a side-effect-free and expandable genetic manipulation tool for neuroscience research.
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