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 77 results
1.

Morphogen Directed Coordination of GPCR Activity Promotes Primary Cilium Function for Downstream Signaling.

blue bPAC (BlaC) mIMCD-3 Signaling cascade control Immediate control of second messengers
bioRxiv, 6 May 2022 DOI: 10.1101/2022.05.06.490951 Link to full text
Abstract: Primary cilium dysfunction triggers catastrophic failure of signal transduction pathways that organize through cilia, thus conferring significant pressure on such signals to ensure ciliary homeostasis. Intraflagellar transport (IFT) of cargo that maintains the primary cilium is powered by high ciliary cAMP. Paradoxically, Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) signaling, for which ciliary function is crucial, triggers a reduction in ciliary cAMP that could blunt downstream signaling by slowing IFT. We investigated this paradox and mapped a novel signal relay driven by SHH-stimulated prostaglandin E2 that stabilizes ciliary cAMP flux through by activating Gαs-coupled EP4 receptor. Chemical or genetic blockade of the SHH-EP4 relay cripples cAMP buffering, which leads to decreased intraciliary cAMP, short cilia, and attenuated SHH pathway induction. Accordingly, EP4-/- mice show pronounced ciliary defects and altered SHH-dependent neural tube patterning. Thus, SHH orchestrates a sophisticated ciliary GPCR-cAMP signaling network that ensures primary cilium fitness for a robust downstream signaling response.
2.

Optogenetic Control of PIP2 Interactions Shaping ENaC Activity.

blue CRY2/CIB1 CHO-K1 HEK293 Immediate control of second messengers
Int J Mol Sci, 31 Mar 2022 DOI: 10.3390/ijms23073884 Link to full text
Abstract: The activity of the epithelial Na+ Channel (ENaC) is strongly dependent on the membrane phospholipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2). PIP2 binds two distinct cationic clusters within the N termini of β- and γ-ENaC subunits (βN1 and γN2). The affinities of these sites were previously determined using short synthetic peptides, yet their role in sensitizing ENaC to changes in PIP2 levels in the cellular system is not well established. We addressed this question by comparing the effects of PIP2 depletion and recovery on ENaC channel activity and intracellular Na+ levels [Na+]i. We tested effects on ENaC activity with mutations to the PIP2 binding sites using the optogenetic system CIBN/CRY2-OCRL to selectively deplete PIP2. We monitored changes of [Na+]i by measuring the fluorescent Na+ indicator, CoroNa Green AM, and changes in channel activity by performing patch clamp electrophysiology. Whole cell patch clamp measurements showed a complete lack of response to PIP2 depletion and recovery in ENaC with mutations to βN1 or γN2 or both sites, compared to wild type ENaC. Whereas mutant βN1 also had no change in CoroNa Green fluorescence in response to PIP2 depletion, γN2 did have reduced [Na+]i, which was explained by having shorter CoroNa Green uptake and half-life. These results suggest that CoroNa Green measurements should be interpreted with caution. Importantly, the electrophysiology results show that the βN1 and γN2 sites on ENaC are each necessary to permit maximal ENaC activity in the presence of PIP2.
3.

An optogenetic tool to recruit individual PKC isozymes to the cell surface and promote specific phosphorylation of membrane proteins.

blue CRY2/CIB1 HEK293T Immediate control of second messengers
J Biol Chem, 31 Mar 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbc.2022.101893 Link to full text
Abstract: The Protein kinase C family consists of several closely related kinases. These enzymes regulate the function of proteins through the phosphorylation of hydroxyl groups on serines and/or threonines. The selective activation of individual PKC isozymes has proven challenging due to a lack of specific activator molecules. Here we developed an optogenetic, blue-light activated PKC isozyme that harnesses a plant-based dimerization system between the photosensitive cryptochrome-2 (CRY2) and the N-terminus of the transcription factor CIB1 (CIBN). We show that tagging CRY2 with the catalytic domain of PKC isozymes can efficiently promote its translocation to the cell surface upon blue light exposure. We demonstrate this system using PKCε and show that this leads to robust activation of a K+ channel (GIRK1/4) previously shown to be activated by PKCε. We anticipate that this approach can be utilized for other PKC isoforms to provide a reliable and direct stimulus for targeted membrane protein phosphorylation by the relevant PKCs.
4.

Stress ball morphogenesis: How the lizard builds its lung.

blue CRY2/CRY2 C2C12 Immediate control of second messengers
Sci Adv, 22 Dec 2021 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abk0161 Link to full text
Abstract: The function of the lung is closely coupled to its structural anatomy, which varies greatly across vertebrates. Although architecturally simple, a complex pattern of airflow is thought to be achieved in the lizard lung due to its cavernous central lumen and honeycomb-shaped wall. We find that the wall of the lizard lung is generated from an initially smooth epithelial sheet, which is pushed through holes in a hexagonal smooth muscle meshwork by forces from fluid pressure, similar to a stress ball. Combining transcriptomics with time-lapse imaging reveals that the hexagonal meshwork self-assembles in response to circumferential and axial stresses downstream of pressure. A computational model predicts the pressure-driven changes in epithelial topology, which we probe using optogenetically driven contraction of 3D-printed engineered muscle. These results reveal the physical principles used to sculpt the unusual architecture of the lizard lung, which could be exploited as a novel strategy to engineer tissues.
5.

Hypothalamic dopamine neurons motivate mating through persistent cAMP signalling.

blue bPAC (BlaC) mouse neural cells Xenopus oocytes Immediate control of second messengers
Nature, 25 Aug 2021 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03845-0 Link to full text
Abstract: Transient neuromodulation can have long-lasting effects on neural circuits and motivational states1-4. Here we examine the dopaminergic mechanisms that underlie mating drive and its persistence in male mice. Brief investigation of females primes a male's interest to mate for tens of minutes, whereas a single successful mating triggers satiety that gradually recovers over days5. We found that both processes are controlled by specialized anteroventral and preoptic periventricular (AVPV/PVpo) dopamine neurons in the hypothalamus. During the investigation of females, dopamine is transiently released in the medial preoptic area (MPOA)-an area that is critical for mating behaviours. Optogenetic stimulation of AVPV/PVpo dopamine axons in the MPOA recapitulates the priming effect of exposure to a female. Using optical and molecular methods for tracking and manipulating intracellular signalling, we show that this priming effect emerges from the accumulation of mating-related dopamine signals in the MPOA through the accrual of cyclic adenosine monophosphate levels and protein kinase A activity. Dopamine transients in the MPOA are abolished after a successful mating, which is likely to ensure abstinence. Consistent with this idea, the inhibition of AVPV/PVpo dopamine neurons selectively demotivates mating, whereas stimulating these neurons restores the motivation to mate after sexual satiety. We therefore conclude that the accumulation or suppression of signals from specialized dopamine neurons regulates mating behaviours across minutes and days.
6.

Endosomal cAMP production broadly impacts the cellular phosphoproteome.

blue bPAC (BlaC) HEK293 Immediate control of second messengers
J Biol Chem, 21 Jun 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbc.2021.100907 Link to full text
Abstract: Endosomal signaling downstream of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) has emerged as a novel paradigm with important pharmacological and physiological implications. However, our knowledge of the functional consequences of intracellular signaling is incomplete. To begin to address this gap, we combined an optogenetic approach for site-specific generation of the prototypical second messenger generated by active GPCRs, cyclic AMP (cAMP), with unbiased mass spectrometry-based analysis of the phosphoproteome. We identified 218 unique, high-confidence sites whose phosphorylation is either increased or decreased in response to cAMP elevation. We next determined that the same amount of cAMP produced from the endosomal membrane led to more robust changes in phosphorylation than the plasma membrane. Remarkably, this was true for the entire repertoire of 218 identified targets, and irrespective of their annotated sub-cellular localizations (endosome, cell surface, nucleus, cytosol). Furthermore, we identified a particularly strong endosome bias for a subset of proteins that are dephosphorylated in response to cAMP. Through bioinformatics analysis, we established these targets as putative substrates for protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), and we propose compartmentalized activation of PP2A by cAMP-responsive kinases as the likely underlying mechanism. Altogether, our study extends the concept that endosomal signaling is a significant functional contributor to cellular responsiveness to cAMP by establishing a unique role for localized cAMP production in defining categorically distinct phosphoresponses.
7.

Endosomal cAMP production broadly impacts the cellular phosphoproteome.

blue bPAC (BlaC) HEK293 Signaling cascade control Immediate control of second messengers
bioRxiv, 4 May 2021 DOI: 10.1101/2021.01.06.425636 Link to full text
Abstract: Endosomal signaling downstream of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) has emerged as a novel paradigm with important pharmacological and physiological implications. Yet, our knowledge of the functional consequences of intracellular signaling is incomplete. To begin to address this gap, we combined an optogenetic approach for site-specific generation of the prototypical second messenger generated by active GPCRs, cyclic AMP (cAMP), with unbiased mass spectrometry-based analysis of phosphoproteomic effects. We identified 218 unique, high-confidence sites whose phosphorylation is either increased or decreased in response to cAMP production. We next determined that the same amount of cAMP produced from endosomes led to more robust changes in phosphorylation than the plasma membrane. Remarkably, this was true for the entire repertoire of identified targets, and irrespective of their annotated sub-cellular localization. Furthermore, we identified a particularly strong endosome bias for a subset of proteins that are dephosphorylated in response to cAMP. Through bioinformatics analysis, we established these targets as putative substrates for protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), and we propose compartmentalized activation of PP2A-B56δ as the likely underlying mechanism. Altogether, our study extends the concept that endosomal signaling is a significant functional contributor to cellular responsiveness by establishing a unique role for localized cAMP production in defining categorically distinct phosphoresponses.
8.

Vertebrate cells differentially interpret ciliary and extraciliary cAMP.

blue bPAC (BlaC) NIH/3T3 zebrafish in vivo Signaling cascade control Immediate control of second messengers
Cell, 30 Apr 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.04.002 Link to full text
Abstract: Hedgehog pathway components and select G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) localize to the primary cilium, an organelle specialized for signal transduction. We investigated whether cells distinguish between ciliary and extraciliary GPCR signaling. To test whether ciliary and extraciliary cyclic AMP (cAMP) convey different information, we engineered optogenetic and chemogenetic tools to control the subcellular site of cAMP generation. Generating equal amounts of ciliary and cytoplasmic cAMP in zebrafish and mammalian cells revealed that ciliary cAMP, but not cytoplasmic cAMP, inhibited Hedgehog signaling. Modeling suggested that the distinct geometries of the cilium and cell body differentially activate local effectors. The search for effectors identified a ciliary pool of protein kinase A (PKA). Blocking the function of ciliary PKA, but not extraciliary PKA, activated Hedgehog signal transduction and reversed the effects of ciliary cAMP. Therefore, cells distinguish ciliary and extraciliary cAMP using functionally and spatially distinct pools of PKA, and different subcellular pools of cAMP convey different information.
9.

PIP2 regulation of TRPC5 channel activation and desensitization.

blue CRY2/CIB1 HEK293T Immediate control of second messengers
J Biol Chem, 29 Apr 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbc.2021.100726 Link to full text
Abstract: Transient receptor potential canonical type 5 (TRPC5) ion channels are expressed in the brain and kidney, and have been identified as promising therapeutic targets whose selective inhibition can protect against diseases driven by a leaky kidney filter, such as Focal Segmental Glomerular Sclerosis (FSGS). TRPC5 channels are activated by elevated levels of extracellular Ca2+or lanthanide ions, but also by G protein (Gq/11) stimulation. Phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP2) hydrolysis by phospholipase C (PLC) enzymes leads to protein kinase C (PKC)-mediated phosphorylation of TRPC5 channels and their subsequent desensitization. However, the roles of PIP2 in activation and maintenance of TRPC5 channel activity via its hydrolysis product diacyl glycerol (DAG), as well as the mechanism of desensitization of TRPC5 activity by DAG-stimulated PKC activity remain unclear. Here, we designed experiments to distinguish between the processes underlying channel activation and inhibition. Using whole-cell patch clamp, we employed an optogenetic tool to dephosphorylate PIP2 and assess channel-PIP2 interactions influenced by activators, such as DAG, or inhibitors, such as PKC phosphorylation. Using total internal reflection microscopy, we assessed channel cell surface density. We show that PIP2 controls both the PKC-mediated inhibition as well as the DAG- and lanthanide-mediated activation of TRPC5 currents via control of gating rather than channel cell surface density. These mechanistic insights promise to aid in the development of more selective and precise inhibitors to block TRPC5 channel activity, and to illuminate new opportunities for targeted therapies for a group of chronic kidney diseases for which there is currently a great unmet need.
10.

Optogenetic tools for manipulation of cyclic nucleotides, functionally coupled to CNG-channels.

blue bPAC (BlaC) C. elegans in vivo Immediate control of second messengers
Br J Pharmacol, 18 Mar 2021 DOI: 10.1111/bph.15445 Link to full text
Abstract: The cyclic nucleotides cAMP and cGMP are ubiquitous second messengers that regulate numerous biological processes. Malfunctional cNMP signalling is linked to multiple diseases and thus is an important target in pharmaceutical research. The existing optogenetic toolbox in C. elegans is restricted to soluble adenylyl cyclases, the membrane-bound Blastocladiella emersonii CyclOp and hyperpolarising rhodopsins, yet missing are membrane-bound photoactivatable adenylyl cyclases and hyperpolarisers based on K+ -currents.
11.

Optogenetic modulation of real-time nanoscale dynamics of HCN channels using photoactivated adenylyl cyclases.

blue bPAC (BlaC) NgPAC TpPAC Neuro-2a Immediate control of second messengers
RSC Chem Biol, 8 Mar 2021 DOI: 10.1039/d0cb00124d Link to full text
Abstract: Adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) is a key second messenger that activates several signal transduction pathways in eukaryotic cells. Alteration of basal levels of cAMP is known to activate protein kinases, regulate phosphodiesterases and modulate the activity of ion channels such as Hyper polarization-activated cyclic nucleotide gated channels (HCN). Recent advances in optogenetics have resulted in the availability of novel genetically encoded molecules with the capability to alter cytoplasmic profiles of cAMP with unprecedented spatial and temporal precision. Using single molecule based super-resolution microscopy and different optogenetic modulators of cellular cAMP in both live and fixed cells, we illustrate a novel paradigm to report alteration in nanoscale confinement of ectopically expressed HCN channels. We characterized the efficacy of cAMP generation using ensemble photoactivation of different optogenetic modulators. Then we demonstrate that local modulation of cAMP alters the exchange of membrane bound HCN channels with its nanoenvironment. Additionally, using high density single particle tracking in combination with both acute and chronic optogenetic elevation of cAMP in the cytoplasm, we show that HCN channels are confined to sub 100 nm sized functional domains on the plasma membrane. The nanoscale properties of these domains along with the exchange kinetics of HCN channels in and out of these molecular zones are altered upon temporal changes in the cytoplasmic cAMP. Using HCN2 point mutants and a truncated construct of HCN2 with altered sensitivity to cAMP, we confirmed these alterations in lateral organization of HCN2 to be specific to cAMP binding. Thus, combining these advanced non-invasive paradigms, we report a cAMP dependent ensemble and single particle behavior of HCN channels mediated by its cyclic nucleotide binding domain, opening innovative ways to dissect biochemical pathways at the nanoscale and real-time in living cells.
12.

Optogenetic Modification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Enables Controllable Twitching Motility and Host Infection.

blue bPAC (BlaC) P. aeruginosa Immediate control of second messengers
ACS Synth Biol, 5 Mar 2021 DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.0c00559 Link to full text
Abstract: Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) is an important secondary messenger that controls carbon metabolism, type IVa pili biogenesis, and virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Precise manipulation of bacterial intracellular cAMP levels may enable tunable control of twitching motility or virulence, and optogenetic tools are attractive because they afford excellent spatiotemporal resolution and are easy to operate. Here, we developed an engineered P. aeruginosa strain (termed pactm) with light-dependent intracellular cAMP levels through introducing a photoactivated adenylate cyclase gene (bPAC) into bacteria. On blue light illumination, pactm displayed a 15-fold increase in the expression of the cAMP responsive promoter and an 8-fold increase in its twitching activity. The skin lesion area of nude mouse in a subcutaneous infection model after 2-day pactm inoculation was increased 14-fold by blue light, making pactm suitable for applications in controllable bacterial host infection. In addition, we achieved directional twitching motility of pactm colonies through localized light illumination, which will facilitate the studies of contact-dependent interactions between microbial species.
13.

Engineering of a bona fide light-operated calcium channel.

blue AsLOV2 D. melanogaster in vivo HEK293 HEK293T HeLa Immediate control of second messengers
Nat Commun, 11 Jan 2021 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-20425-4 Link to full text
Abstract: The current optogenetic toolkit lacks a robust single-component Ca2+-selective ion channel tailored for remote control of Ca2+ signaling in mammals. Existing tools are either derived from engineered channelrhodopsin variants without strict Ca2+ selectivity or based on the stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) that might crosstalk with other targets. Here, we describe the design of a light-operated Ca2+ channel (designated LOCa) by inserting a plant-derived photosensory module into the intracellular loop of an engineered ORAI1 channel. LOCa displays biophysical features reminiscent of the ORAI1 channel, which enables precise optical control over Ca2+ signals and hallmark Ca2+-dependent physiological responses. Furthermore, we demonstrate the use of LOCa to modulate aberrant hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal, transcriptional programming, cell suicide, as well as neurodegeneration in a Drosophila model of amyloidosis.
14.

Biphasic Response of Protein Kinase A to Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate Triggers Distinct Epithelial Phenotypes.

blue bPAC (BlaC) MDCK Signaling cascade control Immediate control of second messengers
bioRxiv, 3 Nov 2020 DOI: 10.1101/747030 Link to full text
Abstract: Despite the large diversity of the proteins involved in cellular signaling, many intracellular signaling pathways converge onto one of only dozens of small molecule second messengers. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), one of these second messengers, is known to regulate activity of both Protein Kinase A (PKA) and the Extracellular Regulated Kinase (ERK), among other signaling pathways. In its role as an important cellular signaling hub, intracellular cAMP concentration has long been assumed to monotonically regulate its known effectors. Using an optogenetic tool that can introduce precise amounts of cAMP in MDCKI cells, we identify genes whose expression changes biphasically with monotonically increasing cAMP levels. By examining the behavior of PKA and ERK1/2 in the same dose regime, we find that these kinases also respond biphasically to increasing cAMP levels, with opposite phases. We reveal that this behavior results from an elaborate integration by PKA of many cellular signals triggered by cAMP. In addition to the direct activation of PKA, cAMP also modulates the activity of p38 and ERK, which then converge to inhibit PKA. These interactions and their ensuing biphasic PKA profile have important physiological repercussions, influencing the ability of MDCKI cells to proliferate and form acini. Our data, supported by computational modeling, synthesize a set of network interconnections involving PKA and other important signaling pathways into a model that demonstrates how cells can capitalize on signal integration to create a diverse set of responses to cAMP concentration and produce complex input-output relationships.
15.

Nanobody-directed targeting of optogenetic tools to study signaling in the primary cilium.

blue red bPAC (BlaC) LAPD HEK293 mIMCD-3 Signaling cascade control Control of cytoskeleton / cell motility / cell shape Immediate control of second messengers
Elife, 24 Jun 2020 DOI: 10.7554/elife.57907 Link to full text
Abstract: Compartmentalization of cellular signaling forms the molecular basis of cellular behavior. The primary cilium constitutes a subcellular compartment that orchestrates signal transduction independent from the cell body. Ciliary dysfunction causes severe diseases, termed ciliopathies. Analyzing ciliary signaling has been challenging due to the lack of tools investigate ciliary signaling. Here, we describe a nanobody-based targeting approach for optogenetic tools in mammalian cells and in vivo in zebrafish to specifically analyze ciliary signaling and function. Thereby, we overcome the loss of protein function observed after fusion to ciliary targeting sequences. We functionally localized modifiers of cAMP signaling, the photo-activated adenylate cyclase bPAC and the light-activated phosphodiesterase LAPD, and the cAMP biosensor mlCNBD-FRET to the cilium. Using this approach, we studied the contribution of spatial cAMP signaling in controlling cilia length. Combining optogenetics with nanobody-based targeting will pave the way to the molecular understanding of ciliary function in health and disease.
16.

Optogenetic Manipulation of Postsynaptic cAMP Using a Novel Transgenic Mouse Line Enables Synaptic Plasticity and Enhances Depolarization Following Tetanic Stimulation in the Hippocampal Dentate Gyrus.

blue bPAC (BlaC) mouse hippocampal slices Immediate control of second messengers Neuronal activity control
Front Neural Circuits, 3 Jun 2020 DOI: 10.3389/fncir.2020.00024 Link to full text
Abstract: cAMP is a positive regulator tightly involved in certain types of synaptic plasticity and related memory functions. However, its spatiotemporal roles at the synaptic and neural circuit levels remain elusive. Using a combination of a cAMP optogenetics approach and voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging with electrophysiological recording, we define a novel capacity of postsynaptic cAMP in enabling dentate gyrus long-term potentiation (LTP) and depolarization in acutely prepared murine hippocampal slices. To manipulate cAMP levels at medial perforant path to granule neuron (MPP-DG) synapses by light, we generated transgenic (Tg) mice expressing photoactivatable adenylyl cyclase (PAC) in DG granule neurons. Using these Tg(CMV-Camk2a-RFP/bPAC)3Koka mice, we recorded field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) from MPP-DG synapses and found that photoactivation of PAC during tetanic stimulation enabled synaptic potentiation that persisted for at least 30 min. This form of LTP was induced without the need for GABA receptor blockade that is typically required for inducing DG plasticity. The paired-pulse ratio (PPR) remained unchanged, indicating the cAMP-dependent LTP was likely postsynaptic. By employing fast fluorescent voltage-sensitive dye (VSD: di-4-ANEPPS) and fluorescence imaging, we found that photoactivation of the PAC actuator enhanced the intensity and extent of dentate gyrus depolarization triggered following tetanic stimulation. These results demonstrate that the elevation of cAMP in granule neurons is capable of rapidly enhancing synaptic strength and neuronal depolarization. The powerful actions of cAMP are consistent with this second messenger having a critical role in the regulation of synaptic function.
17.

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.
18.

Optogenetic manipulation of calcium signals in single T cells in vivo.

blue CRY2/CRY2 mouse in vivo mouse T cells Control of cell-cell / cell-material interactions Immediate control of second messengers
Nat Commun, 2 Mar 2020 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-14810-2 Link to full text
Abstract: By offering the possibility to manipulate cellular functions with spatiotemporal control, optogenetics represents an attractive tool for dissecting immune responses. However, applying these approaches to single cells in vivo remains particularly challenging for immune cells that are typically located in scattering tissues. Here, we introduce an improved calcium actuator with sensitivity allowing for two-photon photoactivation. Furthermore, we identify an actuator/reporter combination that permits the simultaneous manipulation and visualization of calcium signals in individual T cells in vivo. With this strategy, we document the consequences of defined patterns of calcium signals on T cell migration, adhesion, and chemokine release. Manipulation of individual immune cells in vivo should open new avenues for establishing the functional contribution of single immune cells engaged in complex reactions.
19.

Booster, a Red-Shifted Genetically Encoded Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) Biosensor Compatible with Cyan Fluorescent Protein/Yellow Fluorescent Protein-Based FRET Biosensors and Blue Light-Responsive Optogenetic Tools.

blue bPAC (BlaC) HeLa MDCK Signaling cascade control Immediate control of second messengers
ACS Sens, 26 Feb 2020 DOI: 10.1021/acssensors.9b01941 Link to full text
Abstract: Genetically encoded Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based biosensors have been developed for the visualization of signaling molecule activities. Currently, most of them are comprised of cyan and yellow fluorescent proteins (CFP and YFP), precluding the use of multiple FRET biosensors within a single cell. Moreover, the FRET biosensors based on CFP and YFP are incompatible with the optogenetic tools that operate at blue light. To overcome these problems, here, we have developed FRET biosensors with red-shifted excitation and emission wavelengths. We chose mKOκ and mKate2 as the favorable donor and acceptor pair by calculating the Förster distance. By optimizing the order of fluorescent proteins and modulatory domains of the FRET biosensors, we developed a FRET biosensor backbone named "Booster". The performance of the protein kinase A (PKA) biosensor based on the Booster backbone (Booster-PKA) was comparable to that of AKAR3EV, a previously developed FRET biosensor comprising CFP and YFP. For the proof of concept, we first showed simultaneous monitoring of activities of two protein kinases with Booster-PKA and ERK FRET biosensors based on CFP and YFP. Second, we showed monitoring of PKA activation by Beggiatoa photoactivated adenylyl cyclase, an optogenetic generator of cyclic AMP. Finally, we presented PKA activity in living tissues of transgenic mice expressing Booster-PKA. Collectively, the results demonstrate the effectiveness and versatility of Booster biosensors as an imaging tool in vitro and in vivo.
20.

Optogenetic engineering to probe the molecular choreography of STIM1-mediated cell signaling.

blue AsLOV2 CRY2/CIB1 iLID Cos-7 HEK293 HeLa Signaling cascade control Immediate control of second messengers
Nat Commun, 25 Feb 2020 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-14841-9 Link to full text
Abstract: Genetically encoded photoswitches have enabled spatial and temporal control of cellular events to achieve tailored functions in living cells, but their applications to probe the structure-function relations of signaling proteins are still underexplored. We illustrate herein the incorporation of various blue light-responsive photoreceptors into modular domains of the stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) to manipulate protein activity and faithfully recapitulate STIM1-mediated signaling events. Capitalizing on these optogenetic tools, we identify the molecular determinants required to mediate protein oligomerization, intramolecular conformational switch, and protein-target interactions. In parallel, we have applied these synthetic devices to enable light-inducible gating of calcium channels, conformational switch, dynamic protein-microtubule interactions and assembly of membrane contact sites in a reversible manner. Our optogenetic engineering approach can be broadly applied to aid the mechanistic dissection of cell signaling, as well as non-invasive interrogation of physiological processes with high precision.
21.

An optogenetic tool for induced protein stabilization based on the Phaeodactylum tricornutum aureochrome 1a LOV domain.

blue AtLOV2 bPAC (BlaC) PtAU1-LOV in vitro S. cerevisiae Immediate control of second messengers
J Mol Biol, 24 Feb 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2020.02.019 Link to full text
Abstract: Control of cellular events by optogenetic tools is a powerful approach to manipulate cellular functions in a minimally invasive manner. A common problem posed by the application of optogenetic tools is to tune the activity range to be physiologically relevant. Here, we characterized a photoreceptor of the light-oxygen-voltage domain family of Phaeodactylum tricornutum aureochrome 1a (AuLOV) as a tool for increasing protein stability under blue light conditions in budding yeast. Structural studies of AuLOVwt, the variants AuLOVM254 and AuLOVW349 revealed alternative dimer association modes for the dark state, which differ from previously reported AuLOV dark state structures. Rational design of AuLOV-dimer interface mutations resulted in an optimized optogenetic tool that we fused to the photoactivatable adenylyl cyclase from Beggiatoa sp.. This synergistic light-regulation approach using two photoreceptors resulted in an optimized, photoactivatable adenylyl cyclase with a cyclic AMP production activity that matches the physiological range of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Overall, we enlarged the optogenetic toolbox for yeast and demonstrated the importance of fine-tuning the optogenetic tool activity for successful application in cells.
22.

Non-invasive optical control of endogenous Ca2+ channels in awake mice.

blue CRY2/CRY2 CRY2clust CRY2olig HeLa mouse in vivo Immediate control of second messengers
Nat Commun, 10 Jan 2020 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-14005-4 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetic approaches for controlling Ca2+ channels provide powerful means for modulating diverse Ca2+-specific biological events in space and time. However, blue light-responsive photoreceptors are, in principle, considered inadequate for deep tissue stimulation unless accompanied by optic fiber insertion. Here, we present an ultra-light-sensitive optogenetic Ca2+ modulator, named monSTIM1 encompassing engineered cryptochrome2 for manipulating Ca2+ signaling in the brain of awake mice through non-invasive light delivery. Activation of monSTIM1 in either excitatory neurons or astrocytes of mice brain is able to induce Ca2+-dependent gene expression without any mechanical damage in the brain. Furthermore, we demonstrate that non-invasive Ca2+ modulation in neurons can be sufficiently and effectively translated into changes in behavioral phenotypes of awake mice.
23.

Primary Cilia Signaling Promotes Axonal Tract Development and Is Disrupted in Joubert Syndrome-Related Disorders Models.

blue bPAC (BlaC) CRY2/CIB1 primary mouse deep cerebellar nuclei neurons Control of cytoskeleton / cell motility / cell shape Immediate control of second messengers
Dev Cell, 16 Dec 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.11.005 Link to full text
Abstract: Appropriate axonal growth and connectivity are essential for functional wiring of the brain. Joubert syndrome-related disorders (JSRD), a group of ciliopathies in which mutations disrupt primary cilia function, are characterized by axonal tract malformations. However, little is known about how cilia-driven signaling regulates axonal growth and connectivity. We demonstrate that the deletion of related JSRD genes, Arl13b and Inpp5e, in projection neurons leads to de-fasciculated and misoriented axonal tracts. Arl13b deletion disrupts the function of its downstream effector, Inpp5e, and deregulates ciliary-PI3K/AKT signaling. Chemogenetic activation of ciliary GPCR signaling and cilia-specific optogenetic modulation of downstream second messenger cascades (PI3K, AKT, and AC3) commonly regulated by ciliary signaling receptors induce rapid changes in axonal dynamics. Further, Arl13b deletion leads to changes in transcriptional landscape associated with dysregulated PI3K/AKT signaling. These data suggest that ciliary signaling acts to modulate axonal connectivity and that impaired primary cilia signaling underlies axonal tract defects in JSRD.
24.

Optogenetic modulation of a catalytic biofilm for biotransformation of indole into tryptophan.

red BphS E. coli Immediate control of second messengers
ChemSusChem, 16 Oct 2019 DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201902413 Link to full text
Abstract: In green chemical synthesis, biofilms as biocatalysts have shown great promise. Efficient biofilm-mediated biocatalysis requires the modulation of biofilm formation. Optogenetic tools are ideal for controlling biofilms, as light is non-invasive, easily controllable and cost-efficient. In this study, we employed a near infrared (NIR) light-responsive gene circuit to modulate the cellular level of c-di-GMP, a central regulator of the prokaryote biofilm lifestyle, which allows us to regulate biofilm formation using NIR light. By applying the engineered biofilm to catalyze the biotransformation of indole into tryptophan in submerged biofilm reactors, we showed that NIR light enhanced biofilm formation to result in ~ 30% increase in tryptophan yield, which demonstrates the feasibility of applying light to modulate the formation and performance of catalytic biofilms for chemical production. The c-di-GMP targeted optogenetic approach for modulating catalytic biofilm we have demonstrated here would allow the wide application for further biofilm-mediated biocatalysis.
25.

Amelioration of Diabetes in a Murine Model upon Transplantation of Pancreatic β-Cells with Optogenetic Control of Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate.

blue bPAC (BlaC) MIN6 Immediate control of second messengers
ACS Synth Biol, 16 Sep 2019 DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.9b00262 Link to full text
Abstract: Pharmacological augmentation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), for example, to overcome insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes is linked to suboptimal regulation of blood sugar. Cultured β-cells and islets expressing a photoactivatable adenylyl cyclase (PAC) are amenable to GSIS potentiation with light. However, whether PAC-mediated enhancement of GSIS can improve the diabetic state remains unknown. To this end, β-cells were engineered with stable PAC expression that led to over 2-fold greater GSIS upon exposure to blue light while there were no changes in the absence of glucose. Moreover, the rate of oxygen consumption was unaltered despite the photoinduced elevation of GSIS. Transplantation of these cells into streptozotocin-treated mice resulted in improved glucose tolerance, lower hyperglycemia, and higher plasma insulin when subjected to illumination. Embedding optogenetic networks in β-cells for physiologically relevant control of GSIS will enable novel solutions potentially overcoming the shortcomings of current treatments for diabetes.
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