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 - 4 of 4 results

ActuAtor, a molecular tool for generating force in living cells: Controlled deformation of intracellular structures.

blue iLID U-2 OS Control of cytoskeleton / cell motility / cell shape
bioRxiv, 31 Mar 2020 DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.30.016360 Link to full text
Abstract: Mechanical force underlies fundamental cell functions such as division, migration and differentiation. While physical probes and devices revealed cellular mechano-responses, how force is translated inside cells to exert output functions remains largely unknown, due to the limited techniques to manipulate force intracellularly. By engineering an ActA protein, an actin nucleation promoting factor derived from Listeria monocytogenes, and implementing this in protein dimerization paradigms, we developed a molecular tool termed ActuAtor, with which actin polymerization can be triggered at intended subcellular locations to generate constrictive force in a rapidly inducible manner. The ActuAtor operation led to striking deformation of target intracellular structures including mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, nucleus, and non-membrane-bound RNA granules. Based on functional analysis before and after organelle deformation, we found the form-function relationship of mitochondria to be generally marginal. The modular design and genetically-encoded nature enable wide applications of ActuAtor for studies of intracellular mechanobiology processes.

Intracellular production of hydrogels and synthetic RNA granules by multivalent molecular interactions.

blue iLID Cos-7 Organelle manipulation
Nat Mater, 6 Nov 2017 DOI: 10.1038/nmat5006 Link to full text
Abstract: Some protein components of intracellular non-membrane-bound entities, such as RNA granules, are known to form hydrogels in vitro. The physico-chemical properties and functional role of these intracellular hydrogels are difficult to study, primarily due to technical challenges in probing these materials in situ. Here, we present iPOLYMER, a strategy for a rapid induction of protein-based hydrogels inside living cells that explores the chemically inducible dimerization paradigm. Biochemical and biophysical characterizations aided by computational modelling show that the polymer network formed in the cytosol resembles a physiological hydrogel-like entity that acts as a size-dependent molecular sieve. We functionalize these polymers with RNA-binding motifs that sequester polyadenine-containing nucleotides to synthetically mimic RNA granules. These results show that iPOLYMER can be used to synthetically reconstitute the nucleation of biologically functional entities, including RNA granules in intact cells.

Following Optogenetic Dimerizers and Quantitative Prospects.

blue cyan red Cryptochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Biophys J, 17 Aug 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2016.07.040 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetics describes the use of genetically encoded photosensitive proteins to direct intended biological processes with light in recombinant and native systems. While most of these light-responsive proteins were originally discovered in photosynthetic organisms, the past few decades have been punctuated by experiments that not only commandeer but also engineer and enhance these natural tools to explore a wide variety of physiological questions. In addition, the ability to tune dynamic range and kinetic rates of optogenetic actuators is a challenging question that is heavily explored with computational methods devised to facilitate optimization of these systems. Here, we explain the basic mechanisms of a few popular photodimerizing optogenetic systems, discuss applications, compare optogenetic tools against more traditional chemical methods, and propose a simple quantitative understanding of how actuators exert their influence on targeted processes.

Toward total synthesis of cell function: Reconstituting cell dynamics with synthetic biology.

blue red Cryptochromes LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Sci Signal, 9 Feb 2016 DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aac4779 Link to full text
Abstract: Biological phenomena, such as cellular differentiation and phagocytosis, are fundamental processes that enable cells to fulfill important physiological roles in multicellular organisms. In the field of synthetic biology, the study of these behaviors relies on the use of a broad range of molecular tools that enable the real-time manipulation and measurement of key components in the underlying signaling pathways. This Review will focus on a subset of synthetic biology tools known as bottom-up techniques, which use technologies such as optogenetics and chemically induced dimerization to reconstitute cellular behavior in cells. These techniques have been crucial not only in revealing causal relationships within signaling networks but also in identifying the minimal signaling components that are necessary for a given cellular function. We discuss studies that used these systems in a broad range of cellular and molecular phenomena, including the time-dependent modulation of protein activity in cellular proliferation and differentiation, the reconstitution of phagocytosis, the reconstitution of chemotaxis, and the regulation of actin reorganization. Finally, we discuss the potential contribution of synthetic biology to medicine.
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