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 - 3 of 3 results

Shining a light on RhoA: Optical control of cell contractility.

blue Cryptochromes LOV domains Review
Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 20 Jun 2023 DOI: 10.1016/j.biocel.2023.106442 Link to full text
Abstract: In addition to biochemical and electrochemical signaling, cells also rely extensively on mechanical signaling to regulate their behavior. While a number of tools have been adapted from physics and engineering to manipulate cell mechanics, they typically require specialized equipment or lack spatiotemporal precision. Alternatively, a recent, more elegant approach is to use light itself to modulate the mechanical equilibrium inside the cell. This approach leverages the power of optogenetics, which can be controlled in a fully reversible manner in both time and space, to tune RhoA signaling, the master regulator of cellular contractility. We review here the fundamentals of this approach, including illustrating the tunability and flexibility that optogenetics offers, and demonstrate how this tool can be used to modulate both internal cytoskeletal flows and contractile force generation. Together these features highlight the advantages that optogenetics offers for investigating mechanical interactions in cells.

Optogenetic Control of RhoA to Probe Subcellular Mechanochemical Circuitry.

blue TULIP HEK293T
Curr Protoc Cell Biol, Mar 2020 DOI: 10.1002/cpcb.102 Link to full text
Abstract: Spatiotemporal localization of protein function is essential for physiological processes from subcellular to tissue scales. Genetic and pharmacological approaches have played instrumental roles in isolating molecular components necessary for subcellular machinery. However, these approaches have limited capabilities to reveal the nature of the spatiotemporal regulation of subcellular machineries like those of cytoskeletal organelles. With the recent advancement of optogenetic probes, the field now has a powerful tool to localize cytoskeletal stimuli in both space and time. Here, we detail the use of tunable light-controlled interacting protein tags (TULIPs) to manipulate RhoA signaling in vivo. This is an optogenetic dimerization system that rapidly, reversibly, and efficiently directs a cytoplasmic RhoGEF to the plasma membrane for activation of RhoA using light. We first compare this probe to other available optogenetic systems and outline the engineering logic for the chosen recruitable RhoGEFs. We also describe how to generate the cell line, spatially control illumination, confirm optogenetic control of RhoA, and mechanically induce cell-cell junction deformation in cultured tissues. Together, these protocols detail how to probe the mechanochemical circuitry downstream of RhoA signaling. © 2020 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Basic Protocol 1: Generation of a stable cell line expressing TULIP constructs Basic Protocol 2: Preparation of collagen substrate for imaging Basic Protocol 3: Transient transfection for visualization of downstream effectors Basic Protocol 4: Calibration of spatial illumination Basic Protocol 5: Optogenetic activation of a region of interest.

Optogenetic control of RhoA reveals zyxin-mediated elasticity of stress fibres.

blue TULIP MEF-1 NIH/3T3 Control of cytoskeleton / cell motility / cell shape
Nat Commun, 12 Jun 2017 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15817 Link to full text
Abstract: Cytoskeletal mechanics regulates cell morphodynamics and many physiological processes. While contractility is known to be largely RhoA-dependent, the process by which localized biochemical signals are translated into cell-level responses is poorly understood. Here we combine optogenetic control of RhoA, live-cell imaging and traction force microscopy to investigate the dynamics of actomyosin-based force generation. Local activation of RhoA not only stimulates local recruitment of actin and myosin but also increased traction forces that rapidly propagate across the cell via stress fibres and drive increased actin flow. Surprisingly, this flow reverses direction when local RhoA activation stops. We identify zyxin as a regulator of stress fibre mechanics, as stress fibres are fluid-like without flow reversal in its absence. Using a physical model, we demonstrate that stress fibres behave elastic-like, even at timescales exceeding turnover of constituent proteins. Such molecular control of actin mechanics likely plays critical roles in regulating morphodynamic events.
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