Showing 1 - 25 of 32 results
Prior Fc Receptor activation primes macrophages for increased sensitivity to IgG via long term and short term mechanisms.
Macrophages measure the ‘eat-me’ signal IgG to identify targets for phagocytosis. We wondered if prior encounters with IgG influence macrophage appetite. IgG is recognized by the Fc Receptor. To temporally control Fc Receptor activation, we engineered an Fc Receptor that is activated by light-induced oligomerization of Cry2, triggering phagocytosis. Using this tool, we demonstrate that Fc Receptor activation primes macrophages to be more sensitive to IgG in future encounters. Macrophages that have previously experienced Fc Receptor activation eat more IgG-bound cancer cells. Increased phagocytosis occurs by two discrete mechanisms – a short- and long-term priming. Long term priming requires new protein synthesis and Erk activity. Short term priming does not require new protein synthesis and correlates with an increase in Fc Receptor mobility. Our work demonstrates that IgG primes macrophages for increased phagocytosis, suggesting that therapeutic antibodies may become more effective after 30 initial priming doses.
RudLOV—a new optically synchronized cargo transport method reveals unexpected effect of dynasore.
Live imaging of secretory cargoes is a powerful method for understanding the mechanisms of membrane trafficking. Inducing the synchronous release of cargoes from an organelle is a key for enhancing microscopic observation. We developed an optical cargo-releasing method named as retention using dark state of LOV2 (RudLOV), which enables exceptional spatial, temporal, and quantity control during cargo release. A limited amount of cargo-release using RudLOV successfully visualized cargo cisternal-movement and cargo-specific exit sites on the Golgi/trans-Golgi network. Moreover, by controlling the timing of cargo-release using RudLOV, we revealed the canonical and non-canonical effects of the well-known dynamin inhibitor dynasore, which inhibits early-Golgi but not late-Golgi transport and exit from the trans-Golgi network where dynamin-2 is active. Accumulation of COPI vesicles at the cis-side of the Golgi stacks in dynasore-treated cells suggests that dynasore targets COPI-uncoating/tethering/fusion machinery in the early-Golgi cisternae or endoplasmic reticulum but not in the late-Golgi cisternae. These results provide insight into the cisternal maturation of Golgi stacks.
A programmable protease-based protein secretion platform for therapeutic applications.
Cell-based therapies represent potent enabling technologies in biomedical science. However, current genetic control systems for engineered-cell therapies are predominantly based on the transcription or translation of therapeutic outputs. Here we report a protease-based rapid protein secretion system (PASS) that regulates the secretion of pretranslated proteins retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) owing to an ER-retrieval signal. Upon cleavage by inducible proteases, these proteins are secreted. Three PASS variants (chemPASS, antigenPASS and optoPASS) are developed. With chemPASS, we demonstrate the reversal of hyperglycemia in diabetic mice within minutes via drug-induced insulin secretion. AntigenPASS-equipped cells recognize the tumor antigen and secrete granzyme B and perforin, inducing targeted cell apoptosis. Finally, results from mouse models of diabetes, hypertension and inflammatory pain demonstrate light-induced, optoPASS-mediated therapeutic peptide secretion within minutes, conferring anticipated therapeutic benefits. PASS is a flexible platform for rapid delivery of therapeutic proteins that can facilitate the development and adoption of cell-based precision therapies.
Endoplasmic reticulum exit sites are segregated for secretion based on cargo size.
TANGO1-family proteins (TANGO1, TANGO1S and cTAGE5) form stable complexes at the Endoplasmic Reticulum Exit Sites (ERES) and mediate export of bulky cargoes. The C-terminal proline rich domain (PRD) of these proteins binds Sec23A and affects COPII assembly at ERES. These PRD interactions were replaced with light-responsive domains to control the binding between TANGO1S-DPRD and Sec23A. TANGO1SΔPRD was dispersed in the ER membrane but relocated rapidly, yet reversibly, to pre-exiting ERES by binding to Sec23A upon light-activation. Prolonged binding of these two proteins concentrated ERES in the juxtanuclear region by a microtubule dependent process, blocked secretory cargo export and relocated ERGIC53 into the ER, but had limited impact on Golgi complex organization. Under these conditions, bulky collagen VII, and endogenous collagen I were collected at less than 47% of the stalled ERES, whereas small cargo molecules were halted uniformly across the ER, indicating that ERES differentially adapt to cargo size. We suggest these differences in cargo-accumulation at ERES permit cells to balance trafficking of cargoes of different sizes and optimize secretion.
Optogenetic engineered umbilical cord MSC-derived exosomes for remodeling of the immune microenvironment in diabetic wounds and the promotion of tissue repair.
Angiogenesis and tissue repair in chronic non-healing diabetic wounds remain critical clinical problems. Engineered MSC-derived exosomes have significant potential for the promotion of wound healing. Here, we discuss the effects and mechanisms of eNOS-rich umbilical cord MSC exosomes (UCMSC-exo/eNOS) modified by genetic engineering and optogenetic techniques on diabetic chronic wound repair.
Optogenetic control of kinesins -1, -2, -3 and dynein reveals their specific roles in vesicular transport.
Each cargo in a cell employs a unique set of motor proteins for its transport. Often multiple types of kinesins are bound to the same cargo. It is puzzling why several types of motors are required for robust transport. To dissect the roles of each type of motor, we developed optogenetic inhibitors of kinesin-1, -2, -3 and dynein. This system allows us to control the activity of the endogenous set of motor proteins that are bound to intracellular cargoes. We examined the effect of optogenetic inhibition of kinesins-1, -2, and -3 and dynein on the transport of early endosomes, late endosomes, and lysosomes. While kinesin-1, kinesin-3, and dynein transport vesicles at all stages of endocytosis, kinesin-2 primarily drives late endosomes and lysosomes. In agreement with previous studies, sustained inhibition of either kinesins or dynein results in reduced motility in both directions. However, transient, optogenetic inhibition of kinesin-1 or dynein causes both early and late endosomes to move more processively by relieving competition with opposing motors. In contrast, optogenetic inhibition of kinesin-2 reduces the motility of late endosomes and lysosomes, and inhibition of kinesin-3 reduces the motility of endosomes and lysosomes. These results suggest that the directionality of transport is likely controlled through regulating kinesin-1 and dynein activity. On vesicles transported by several kinesin and dynein motors, motility can be directed by modulating the activity of a single type of motor on the cargo.
Rapid and reversible optogenetic silencing of synaptic transmission by clustering of synaptic vesicles.
Acutely silencing specific neurons informs about their functional roles in circuits and behavior. Existing optogenetic silencers include ion pumps, channels, metabotropic receptors, and tools that damage the neurotransmitter release machinery. While the former hyperpolarize the cell, alter ionic gradients or cellular biochemistry, the latter allow only slow recovery, requiring de novo synthesis. Thus, tools combining fast activation and reversibility are needed. Here, we use light-evoked homo-oligomerization of cryptochrome CRY2 to silence synaptic transmission, by clustering synaptic vesicles (SVs). We benchmark this tool, optoSynC, in Caenorhabditis elegans, zebrafish, and murine hippocampal neurons. optoSynC clusters SVs, observable by electron microscopy. Locomotion silencing occurs with tauon ~7.2 s and recovers with tauoff ~6.5 min after light-off. optoSynC can inhibit exocytosis for several hours, at very low light intensities, does not affect ion currents, biochemistry or synaptic proteins, and may further allow manipulating different SV pools and the transfer of SVs between them.
Precision super-resolution cryo-correlative light and electron microscopy for rapid in situ structural analyses of optogenetically-positioned organelles.
Unambiguous targeting of cellular structures for in situ cryo-electron microscopy in the heterogeneous, dense, and compacted environment of the cytoplasm remains challenging. Here we have developed a novel cryogenic correlative light and electron microscopy (cryo- CLEM) workflow which combines thin cells grown on a mechanically defined substratum to rapidly analyse organelles and macromolecular complexes in the cell by cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET). We coupled these advancements with optogenetics to redistribute perinuclear-localised organelles to the cell periphery for cryo-ET. This reliable and robust workflow allows for fast in situ analyses without the requirement for cryo-focused ion beam milling. We have developed a protocol where cells can be frozen, imaged by cryo- fluorescence microscopy and ready for batch cryo-ET within a day.
Opto-katanin, an optogenetic tool for localized, microtubule disassembly.
Microtubules are cytoskeletal polymers that separate chromosomes during mitosis and serve as rails for intracellular transport and organelle positioning. Manipulation of microtubules is widely used in cell and developmental biology, but tools for precise subcellular spatiotemporal control of microtubules are currently lacking. Here, we describe a light-activated system for localized recruitment of the microtubule-severing enzyme katanin. This system, named opto-katanin, uses targeted illumination with blue light to induce rapid, localized, and reversible microtubule depolymerization. This tool allows precise clearing of a subcellular region of microtubules while preserving the rest of the microtubule network, demonstrating that regulation of katanin recruitment to microtubules is sufficient to control its severing activity. The tool is not toxic in the absence of blue light and can be used to disassemble both dynamic and stable microtubules in primary neurons as well as in dividing cells. We show that opto-katanin can be used to locally block vesicle transport and to clarify the dependence of organelle morphology and dynamics on microtubules. Specifically, our data indicate that microtubules are not required for the maintenance of the Golgi stacks or the tubules of the endoplasmic reticulum but are needed for the formation of new membrane tubules. Finally, we demonstrate that this tool can be applied to study the contribution of microtubules to cell mechanics by showing that microtubule bundles can exert forces constricting the nucleus.
Mechanical strain stimulates COPII-dependent trafficking via Rac1.
Secretory trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is subject to regulation by extrinsic and intrinsic factors. While much of the focus has been on biochemical triggers, little is known whether and how the ER is subject to regulation by mechanical signals. Here, we show that COPII-dependent ER-export is regulated by mechanical strain. Mechanotransduction to the ER was mediated via a previously unappreciated ER-localized pool of the small GTPase Rac1. Mechanistically, we show that Rac1 interacts with the small GTPase Sar1 to drive budding of COPII carriers and stimulate ER-to-Golgi transport. Altogether, we establish an unprecedented link between mechanical strain and export from the ER.
An active tethering mechanism controls the fate of vesicles.
Vesicle tethers are thought to underpin the efficiency of intracellular fusion by bridging vesicles to their target membranes. However, the interplay between tethering and fusion has remained enigmatic. Here, through optogenetic control of either a natural tether-the exocyst complex-or an artificial tether, we report that tethering regulates the mode of fusion. We find that vesicles mainly undergo kiss-and-run instead of full fusion in the absence of functional exocyst. Full fusion is rescued by optogenetically restoring exocyst function, in a manner likely dependent on the stoichiometry of tether engagement with the plasma membrane. In contrast, a passive artificial tether produces mostly kissing events, suggesting that kiss-and-run is the default mode of vesicle fusion. Optogenetic control of tethering further shows that fusion mode has physiological relevance since only full fusion could trigger lamellipodial expansion. These findings demonstrate that active coupling between tethering and fusion is critical for robust membrane merger.
Rab10-Positive Tubular Structures Represent a Novel Endocytic Pathway That Diverges From Canonical Macropinocytosis in RAW264 Macrophages.
Using the optogenetic photo-manipulation of photoactivatable (PA)-Rac1, remarkable cell surface ruffling and the formation of a macropinocytic cup (premacropinosome) could be induced in the region of RAW264 macrophages irradiated with blue light due to the activation of PA-Rac1. However, the completion of macropinosome formation did not occur until Rac1 was deactivated by the removal of the light stimulus. Following PA-Rac1 deactivation, some premacropinosomes closed into intracellular macropinosomes, whereas many others transformed into long Rab10-positive tubules without forming typical macropinosomes. These Rab10-positive tubules moved centripetally towards the perinuclear Golgi region along microtubules. Surprisingly, these Rab10-positive tubules did not contain any endosome/lysosome compartment markers, such as Rab5, Rab7, or LAMP1, suggesting that the Rab10-positive tubules were not part of the degradation pathway for lysosomes. These Rab10-positive tubules were distinct from recycling endosomal compartments, which are labeled with Rab4, Rab11, or SNX1. These findings suggested that these Rab10-positive tubules may be a part of non-degradative endocytic pathway that has never been known. The formation of Rab10-positive tubules from premacropinosomes was also observed in control and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-stimulated macrophages, although their frequencies were low. Interestingly, the formation of Rab10-positive premacropinosomes and tubules was not inhibited by phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors, while the classical macropinosome formation requires PI3K activity. Thus, this study provides evidence to support the existence of Rab10-positive tubules as a novel endocytic pathway that diverges from canonical macropinocytosis.
Optogenetic-induced multimerization of the dopamine transporter increases uptake and trafficking to the plasma membrane.
The dopamine transporter (DAT) is essential for the reuptake of the released neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) in the brain. Psychostimulants, methamphetamine (METH) and cocaine (COC), have been reported to induce the formation of DAT multimeric complexes in vivo and in vitro. The interpretation of DAT multimer function has been primarily in the context of compounds that induce structural and functional modifications of DAT, complicating the understanding of the significance of DAT multimers. To examine multimerization in the absence of DAT ligands as well as in their presence, we developed a novel, optogenetic fusion chimera of cryptochrome 2 and DAT with a mCherry fluorescent reporter (Cry2-DAT). Using blue light to induce Cry2-DAT multimeric protein complex formation, we were able to simultaneously test the functional contributions of DAT multimerization in the absence or presence of substrates or inhibitors with high spatiotemporal precision. We found that blue light-stimulated Cry2-DAT multimers significantly increased IDT307 uptake and MFZ 9-18 binding in the absence of ligands as well as after METH and nomifensine (NOM) treatment. Blue light induced Cry2-DAT multimerization increased colocalization with recycling endosomal marker Rab11 and had decreased presence in Rab5-positive early endosomes and Rab7-positive late endosomes. Our data suggest that the increased uptake and binding results from induced and rapid trafficking of DAT multimers to the plasma membrane. Our data suggest that DAT multimers may function to help maintain DA homeostasis.
Quantitative Analysis of Membrane Receptor Trafficking Manipulated by Optogenetic Tools.
Membrane receptors play a crucial role in transmitting external signals inside cells. Signal molecule-bound receptors activate multiple downstream pathways, the dynamics of which are modulated by intracellular trafficking. A significant contribution of β-arrestin to intracellular trafficking has been suggested, but the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we describe a protocol for manipulating β-arrestin-regulated membrane receptor trafficking using photo-induced dimerization of cryptochrome-2 from Arabidopsis thaliana and its binding partner CIBN. Additionally, the protocol guides analytical methods to quantify the changes in localization and modification of membrane receptors during trafficking.
Dual Function of PI(4,5)P2 in Insulin-Regulated Exocytic Trafficking of GLUT4 in Adipocytes.
Phosphoinositides are important signaling molecules involved in the regulation of vesicular trafficking. It has been implicated that phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] is involved in insulin-regulated GLUT4 translocation in adipocytes. However, it remains unclear where and how PI(4,5)P2 regulates discrete steps of GLUT4 vesicle translocation in adipocytes, especially on the exocytic arm of regulation. Here, we employed optogenetic tools to acutely control the PI(4,5)P2 metabolism in living cells. By combination of TIRFM imaging, we were able to monitor the temporal-spatial-dependent PI(4,5)P2 regulation on discrete steps of GLUT4 translocation in adipocytes. We found that the plasma membrane localized PI(4,5)P2 is crucial for proper insulin signaling propagation and for insulin-stimulated GLUT4 vesicle translocation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Global depletion of PI(4,5)P2 on the cell surface blunted insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation and abolished insulin effects in promotion of the docking and fusion of GLUT4 vesicle with the plasma membrane. Furthermore, by development of a novel optogenetic module to selectively modulate PI(4,5)P2 levels on the GLUT4 vesicle docking site, we identified an important regulatory role of PI(4,5)P2 in controlling of vesicle docking process. Local depletion of PI(4,5)P2 at the vesicle docking site promoted GLUT4 vesicle undocking, diminished insulin-stimulated GLUT4 vesicle docking and fusion, but without perturbation of insulin signaling propagation in adipocytes. Our results provide strong evidence that cell surface PI(4,5)P2 plays two distinct functions on regulation of the exocytic trafficking of GLUT4 in adipocytes. PI(4,5)P2 not only regulates the proper activation of insulin signaling in general but also controls GLUT4 vesicle docking process at the vesicle-membrane contact sites.
Flotillins promote T cell receptor sorting through a fast Rab5-Rab11 endocytic recycling axis.
The targeted endocytic recycling of the T cell receptor (TCR) to the immunological synapse is essential for T cell activation. Despite this, the mechanisms that underlie the sorting of internalised receptors into recycling endosomes remain poorly understood. To build a comprehensive picture of TCR recycling during T cell activation, we developed a suite of new imaging and quantification tools centred on photoactivation of fluorescent proteins. We show that the membrane-organising proteins, flotillin-1 and -2, are required for TCR to reach Rab5-positive endosomes immediately after endocytosis and for transfer from Rab5- to Rab11a-positive compartments. We further observe that after sorting into in Rab11a-positive vesicles, TCR recycles to the plasma membrane independent of flotillin expression. Our data suggest a mechanism whereby flotillins delineate a fast Rab5-Rab11a endocytic recycling axis and functionally contribute to regulate the spatial organisation of these endosomes.
A Photoactivatable Botulinum Neurotoxin for Inducible Control of Neurotransmission.
Regulated secretion is critical for diverse biological processes ranging from immune and endocrine signaling to synaptic transmission. Botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins, which specifically proteolyze vesicle fusion proteins involved in regulated secretion, have been widely used as experimental tools to block these processes. Genetic expression of these toxins in the nervous system has been a powerful approach for disrupting neurotransmitter release within defined circuitry, but their current utility in the brain and elsewhere remains limited by lack of spatial and temporal control. Here we engineered botulinum neurotoxin B so that it can be activated with blue light. We demonstrate the utility of this approach for inducibly disrupting excitatory neurotransmission, providing a first-in-class optogenetic tool for persistent, light-triggered synaptic inhibition. In addition to blocking neurotransmitter release, this approach will have broad utility for conditionally disrupting regulated secretion of diverse bioactive molecules, including neuropeptides, neuromodulators, hormones, and immune molecules. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Development of a Wireless-Controlled LED Array for the Tunable Optogenetic Control of Cellular Activities.
Abstract not available.
Adherens junction-associated pores mediate the intercellular transport of endosomes and cytoplasmic proteins.
Intercellular endosomes (IEs) are endocytosed vesicles shuttled through the adherens junctions (AJs) between two neighboring epidermal cells during Drosophila dorsal closure. The cell-to-cell transport of IEs requires DE-cadherin (DE-cad), microtubules (MTs) and kinesin. However, the mechanisms by which IEs can be transported through the AJs are unknown. Here, we demonstrate the presence of AJ-associated pores with MTs traversing through the pores. Live imaging allows direct visualization of IEs being transported through the AJ-associated pores. By using an optogenetic dimerization system, we observe that the dimerized IE-kinesin complexes move across AJs into the neighboring cell. The AJ-associated pores also allow intercellular movement of soluble proteins. Importantly, most epidermal cells form dorsoventral-oriented two-cell syncytia. Together, we present a model in which an AJ-associated pore mediates the intercellular transport of IEs and proteins between two cells in direct contact.
Unique Roles of β-Arrestin in GPCR Trafficking Revealed by Photoinducible Dimerizers.
Intracellular trafficking of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) controls their localization and degradation, which affects a cell's ability to adapt to extracellular stimuli. Although the perturbation of trafficking induces important diseases, these trafficking mechanisms are poorly understood. Herein, we demonstrate an optogenetic method using an optical dimerizer, cryptochrome (CRY) and its partner protein (CIB), to analyze the trafficking mechanisms of GPCRs and their regulatory proteins. Temporally controlling the interaction between β-arrestin and β2-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2) reveals that the duration of the β-arrestin-ADRB2 interaction determines the trafficking pathway of ADRB2. Remarkably, the phosphorylation of ADRB2 by G protein-coupled receptor kinases is unnecessary to trigger clathrin-mediated endocytosis, and β-arrestin interacting with unphosphorylated ADRB2 fails to activate mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, in contrast to the ADRB2 agonist isoproterenol. Temporal control of β-arrestin-GPCR interactions will enable the investigation of the unique roles of β-arrestin and the mechanism by which it regulates β-arrestin-specific trafficking pathways of different GPCRs.
Optogenetic regulation of insulin secretion in pancreatic β-cells.
Pancreatic β-cell insulin production is orchestrated by a complex circuitry involving intracellular elements including cyclic AMP (cAMP). Tackling aberrations in glucose-stimulated insulin release such as in diabetes with pharmacological agents, which boost the secretory capacity of β-cells, is linked to adverse side effects. We hypothesized that a photoactivatable adenylyl cyclase (PAC) can be employed to modulate cAMP in β-cells with light thereby enhancing insulin secretion. To that end, the PAC gene from Beggiatoa (bPAC) was delivered to β-cells. A cAMP increase was noted within 5 minutes of photostimulation and a significant drop at 12 minutes post-illumination. The concomitant augmented insulin secretion was comparable to that from β-cells treated with secretagogues. Greater insulin release was also observed over repeated cycles of photoinduction without adverse effects on viability and proliferation. Furthermore, the expression and activation of bPAC increased cAMP and insulin secretion in murine islets and in β-cell pseudoislets, which displayed a more pronounced light-triggered hormone secretion compared to that of β-cell monolayers. Calcium channel blocking curtailed the enhanced insulin response due to bPAC activity. This optogenetic system with modulation of cAMP and insulin release can be employed for the study of β-cell function and for enabling new therapeutic modalities for diabetes.
Vesicle Docking Is a Key Target of Local PI(4,5)P2 Metabolism in the Secretory Pathway of INS-1 Cells.
Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) signaling is transient and spatially confined in live cells. How this pattern of signaling regulates transmitter release and hormone secretion has not been addressed. We devised an optogenetic approach to control PI(4,5)P2 levels in time and space in insulin-secreting cells. Combining this approach with total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, we examined individual vesicle-trafficking steps. Unlike long-term PI(4,5)P2 perturbations, rapid and cell-wide PI(4,5)P2 reduction in the plasma membrane (PM) strongly inhibits secretion and intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) responses, but not sytaxin1a clustering. Interestingly, local PI(4,5)P2 reduction selectively at vesicle docking sites causes remarkable vesicle undocking from the PM without affecting [Ca(2+)]i. These results highlight a key role of local PI(4,5)P2 in vesicle tethering and docking, coordinated with its role in priming and fusion. Thus, different spatiotemporal PI(4,5)P2 signaling regulates distinct steps of vesicle trafficking, and vesicle docking may be a key target of local PI(4,5)P2 signaling in vivo.
Rac1 switching at the right time and location is essential for Fcγ receptor-mediated phagosome formation.
Lamellipodia are sheet-like cell protrusions driven by actin polymerization mainly through Rac1, a GTPase molecular switch. In Fcγ receptor-mediated phagocytosis of IgG-opsonized erythrocytes (IgG-Es), Rac1 activation is required for lamellipodial extension along the surface of IgG-Es. However, the significance of Rac1 deactivation in phagosome formation is poorly understood. Our live-cell imaging and electron microscopy revealed that RAW264 macrophages expressing a constitutively active Rac1 mutant showed defects in phagocytic cup formation, while lamellipodia were formed around IgG-Es. Because the activated Rac1 reduced the phosphorylation levels of myosin light chain, failure of the cup formation were probably due to inhibition of actin/myosin II contractility. Reversible photo-manipulation of the Rac1 switch in macrophages fed with IgG-Es could phenocopy two lamellipodial motilities: outward-extension and cup-constriction by Rac1 ON and OFF, respectively. In conjunction with FRET imaging of Rac1 activity, we provide a novel mechanistic model of phagosome formation spatiotemporally controlled by Rac1 switching within a phagocytic cup.
Optical control of cell signaling by single-chain photoswitchable kinases.
Protein kinases transduce signals to regulate a wide array of cellular functions in eukaryotes. A generalizable method for optical control of kinases would enable fine spatiotemporal interrogation or manipulation of these various functions. We report the design and application of single-chain cofactor-free kinases with photoswitchable activity. We engineered a dimeric protein, pdDronpa, that dissociates in cyan light and reassociates in violet light. Attaching two pdDronpa domains at rationally selected locations in the kinase domain, we created the photoswitchable kinases psRaf1, psMEK1, psMEK2, and psCDK5. Using these photoswitchable kinases, we established an all-optical cell-based assay for screening inhibitors, uncovered a direct and rapid inhibitory feedback loop from ERK to MEK1, and mediated developmental changes and synaptic vesicle transport in vivo using light.
Transcription activator-like effector-mediated regulation of gene expression based on the inducible packaging and delivery via designed extracellular vesicles.
Transcription activator-like effector (TALE) proteins present a powerful tool for genome editing and engineering, enabling introduction of site-specific mutations, gene knockouts or regulation of the transcription levels of selected genes. TALE nucleases or TALE-based transcription regulators are introduced into mammalian cells mainly via delivery of the coding genes. Here we report an extracellular vesicle-mediated delivery of TALE transcription regulators and their ability to upregulate the reporter gene in target cells. Designed transcriptional activator TALE-VP16 fused to the appropriate dimerization domain was enriched as a cargo protein within extracellular vesicles produced by mammalian HEK293 cells stimulated by Ca-ionophore and using blue light- or rapamycin-inducible dimerization systems. Blue light illumination or rapamycin increased the amount of the TALE-VP16 activator in extracellular vesicles and their addition to the target cells resulted in an increased expression of the reporter gene upon addition of extracellular vesicles to the target cells. This technology therefore represents an efficient delivery for the TALE-based transcriptional regulators.