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 - 16 of 16 results

A Single-Component Optogenetic Gal4-UAS System Allows Stringent Control of Gene Expression in Zebrafish and Drosophila.

blue VVD D. melanogaster in vivo HEK293 Schneider 2 zebrafish in vivo Transgene expression
ACS Synth Biol, 9 Mar 2023 DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.2c00410 Link to full text
Abstract: The light-regulated Gal4-UAS system has offered new ways to control cellular activities with precise spatial and temporal resolution in zebrafish and Drosophila. However, the existing optogenetic Gal4-UAS systems suffer from having multiple protein components and a dependence on extraneous light-sensitive cofactors, which increase the technical complexity and limit the portability of these systems. To overcome these limitations, we herein describe the development of a novel optogenetic Gal4-UAS system (ltLightOn) for both zebrafish and Drosophila based on a single light-switchable transactivator, termed GAVPOLT, which dimerizes and binds to gene promoters to activate transgene expression upon blue light illumination. The ltLightOn system is independent of exogenous cofactors and exhibits a more than 2400-fold ON/OFF gene expression ratio, allowing quantitative, spatial, and temporal control of gene expression. We further demonstrate the usefulness of the ltLightOn system in regulating zebrafish embryonic development by controlling the expression of lefty1 by light. We believe that this single-component optogenetic system will be immensely useful in understanding the gene function and behavioral circuits in zebrafish and Drosophila.

LILAC: enhanced actin imaging with an optogenetic Lifeact.

blue AsLOV2 Schneider 2
Nat Methods, 30 Jan 2023 DOI: 10.1038/s41592-022-01761-3 Link to full text
Abstract: Lifeact is a popular peptide-based label of actin filaments in live cells. We have designed an improved Lifeact variant, LILAC, that binds to actin in light using the LOV2 protein. Light control allows the user to modulate actin labeling, enabling image analysis that leverages modulation for an enhanced view of F-actin dynamics in cells. Furthermore, the tool reduces actin perturbations and cell sickness caused by Lifeact overexpression.

Optogenetic Miro cleavage reveals direct consequences of real-time loss of function in Drosophila.

blue LOVTRAP D. melanogaster in vivo Schneider 2 Organelle manipulation
bioRxiv, 2 Oct 2022 DOI: 10.1101/2022.10.01.510462 Link to full text
Abstract: Miro GTPases control mitochondrial morphology, calcium homeostasis and regulate mitochondrial distribution by mediating their attachment to the kinesin and dynein motor complex. It is not clear, however, how Miro proteins spatially and temporally integrate their function as acute disruption of protein function has not been performed. To address this issue, we have developed an optogenetic loss of function 'Split-Miro' allele for precise control of Miro-dependent mitochondrial functions in Drosophila. Rapid optogenetic cleavage of Split-Miro leads to a striking rearrangement of the mitochondrial network, which is mediated by mitochondrial interaction with the microtubules. Unexpectedly, this treatment did not impact the ability of mitochondria to buffer calcium. While Split-Miro overexpression is sufficient to augment mitochondrial motility, sustained photocleavage shows Split-Miro is surprisingly dispensable to maintain elevated mitochondrial processivity. Furthermore, functional replacement of endogenous Miro with Split-Miro identifies its essential role in the regulation of locomotor activity in adult flies, demonstrating the feasibility of tuning animal behaviour by real-time loss of protein function.

LILAC: Enhanced actin imaging with an optogenetic Lifeact.

blue AsLOV2 Schneider 2
bioRxiv, 8 Apr 2022 DOI: 10.1101/2022.04.07.487416 Link to full text
Abstract: We have designed an improved Lifeact variant that binds to actin under the control of light using the LOV2 protein. Light control enables one to subtract the pre-illumination signal of the unbound label, yielding an enhanced view of F-actin dynamics in cells. Furthermore, the tool eliminates actin network perturbations and cell sickness caused by Lifeact overexpression.

Temperature-responsive optogenetic probes of cell signaling.

blue BcLOV4 CRY2/CRY2 iLID HEK293T NIH/3T3 Schneider 2 zebrafish in vivo Signaling cascade control
Nat Chem Biol, 22 Dec 2021 DOI: 10.1038/s41589-021-00917-0 Link to full text
Abstract: We describe single-component optogenetic probes whose activation dynamics depend on both light and temperature. We used the BcLOV4 photoreceptor to stimulate Ras and phosphatidyl inositol-3-kinase signaling in mammalian cells, allowing activation over a large dynamic range with low basal levels. Surprisingly, we found that BcLOV4 membrane translocation dynamics could be tuned by both light and temperature such that membrane localization spontaneously decayed at elevated temperatures despite constant illumination. Quantitative modeling predicted BcLOV4 activation dynamics across a range of light and temperature inputs and thus provides an experimental roadmap for BcLOV4-based probes. BcLOV4 drove strong and stable signal activation in both zebrafish and fly cells, and thermal inactivation provided a means to multiplex distinct blue-light sensitive tools in individual mammalian cells. BcLOV4 is thus a versatile photosensor with unique light and temperature sensitivity that enables straightforward generation of broadly applicable optogenetic tools.

Spatial and temporal control of expression with light-gated LOV-LexA.

blue AsLOV2 D. melanogaster in vivo Schneider 2 Transgene expression Neuronal activity control
bioRxiv, 19 Oct 2021 DOI: 10.1101/2021.10.19.465021 Link to full text
Abstract: The ability to drive expression of exogenous genes in different tissues and cell types, under control of specific enhancers, has catapulted discovery in biology. While many enhancers drive expression broadly, several genetic tricks have been developed to obtain access to isolated cell types. However, studies of topographically organized neuropiles, such as the optic lobe in fruit flies, have raised the need for a system that can access subsets of cells within a single neuron type, a feat currently dependent on stochastic flip-out methods. To access the same subsets of cells consistently across flies, we developed LOV-LexA, a light-gated expression system based on the bacterial LexA transcription factor and the plant-derived LOV photosensitive domain. Expression of LOV-Lex in larval fat body as well as pupal and adult neurons enables spatial and temporal control of expression of transgenes under LexAop sequences with blue light. The LOV-LexA tool thus provides another layer of intersectional genetics, allowing for light-controlled genetic access to the same subsets of cells within an expression pattern across individual flies.

Microtubule disassembly by caspases is the rate-limiting step of cell extrusion

blue CRY2/CIB1 D. melanogaster in vivo Schneider 2 Control of cytoskeleton / cell motility / cell shape Cell death
bioRxiv, 15 Oct 2021 DOI: 10.1101/2021.10.15.464503 Link to full text
Abstract: Epithelial cell death is essential for tissue homeostasis, robustness and morphogenesis. The expulsion of epithelial cells following caspase activation requires well-orchestrated remodeling steps leading to cell elimination without impairing tissue sealing. While numerous studies have provided insight about the process of cell extrusion, we still know very little about the relationship between caspase activation and the remodeling steps of cell extrusion. Moreover, most studies of cell extrusion focused on the regulation of actomyosin and steps leading to the formation of a supracellular contractile ring. However, the contribution of other cellular factors to cell extrusion has been poorly explored. Using the Drosophila pupal notum, a single layer epithelium where most extrusion events are caspase-dependent, we first showed that the initiation of cell extrusion and apical constriction are surprisingly not associated with the modulation of actomyosin concentration/dynamics. Instead, cell apical constriction is initiated by the disassembly of a medio-apical mesh of microtubules which is driven by effector caspases. We confirmed that local and rapid increase/decrease of microtubules is sufficient to respectively expand/constrict cell apical area. Importantly, the depletion of microtubules is sufficient to bypass the requirement of caspases for cell extrusion. This study shows that microtubules disassembly by caspases is a key rate-limiting steps of extrusion, and outlines a more general function of microtubules in epithelial cell shape stabilisation.

Extremely rapid and reversible optogenetic perturbation of nuclear proteins in living embryos.

blue AsLOV2 D. melanogaster in vivo Kc167 Schneider 2 Developmental processes
Dev Cell, 3 Aug 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2021.07.011 Link to full text
Abstract: Many developmental regulators have complex and context-specific roles in different tissues and stages, making the dissection of their function extremely challenging. As regulatory processes often occur within minutes, perturbation methods that match these dynamics are needed. Here, we present the improved light-inducible nuclear export system (iLEXY), an optogenetic loss-of-function approach that triggers translocation of proteins from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. By introducing a series of mutations, we substantially increased LEXY's efficiency and generated variants with different recovery times. iLEXY enables rapid (t1/2 < 30 s), efficient, and reversible nuclear protein depletion in embryos, and is generalizable to proteins of diverse sizes and functions. Applying iLEXY to the Drosophila master regulator Twist, we phenocopy loss-of-function mutants, precisely map the Twist-sensitive embryonic stages, and investigate the effects of timed Twist depletions. Our results demonstrate the power of iLEXY to dissect the function of pleiotropic factors during embryogenesis with unprecedented temporal precision.

PhotoGal4: A Versatile Light-Dependent Switch for Spatiotemporal Control of Gene Expression in Drosophila Explants.

red PhyB/PIF6 Schneider 2 Transgene expression
iScience, 23 Jun 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2020.101308 Link to full text
Abstract: We present here PhotoGal4, a phytochrome B-based optogenetic switch for fine-tuned spatiotemporal control of gene expression in Drosophila explants. This switch integrates the light-dependent interaction between phytochrome B and PIF6 from plants with regulatory elements from the yeast Gal4/UAS system. We found that PhotoGal4 efficiently activates and deactivates gene expression upon red- or far-red-light irradiation, respectively. In addition, this optogenetic tool reacts to different illumination conditions, allowing for fine modulation of the light-dependent response. Importantly, by simply focusing a laser beam, PhotoGal4 induces intricate patterns of expression in a customized manner. For instance, we successfully sketched personalized patterns of GFP fluorescence such as emoji-like shapes or letterform logos in Drosophila explants, which illustrates the exquisite precision and versatility of this tool. Hence, we anticipate that PhotoGal4 will expand the powerful Drosophila toolbox and will provide a new avenue to investigate intricate and complex problems in biomedical research.

Mps1-mediated release of Mad1 from nuclear pores ensures the fidelity of chromosome segregation.

blue CRY2/CIB1 Schneider 2 Cell cycle control
J Cell Biol, 2 Mar 2020 DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201906039 Link to full text
Abstract: The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) relies on the recruitment of Mad1-C-Mad2 to unattached kinetochores but also on its binding to Megator/Tpr at nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) during interphase. However, the molecular underpinnings controlling the spatiotemporal redistribution of Mad1-C-Mad2 as cells progress into mitosis remain elusive. Here, we show that activation of Mps1 during prophase triggers Mad1 release from NPCs and that this is required for kinetochore localization of Mad1-C-Mad2 and robust SAC signaling. We find that Mps1 phosphorylates Megator/Tpr to reduce its interaction with Mad1 in vitro and in Drosophila cells. Importantly, preventing Mad1 from binding to Megator/Tpr restores Mad1 accumulation at kinetochores, the fidelity of chromosome segregation, and genome stability in larval neuroblasts of mps1-null mutants. Our findings demonstrate that the subcellular localization of Mad1 is tightly coordinated with cell cycle progression by kinetochore-extrinsic activity of Mps1. This ensures that both NPCs in interphase and kinetochores in mitosis can generate anaphase inhibitors to efficiently preserve genomic stability.

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.

Control of microtubule dynamics using an optogenetic microtubule plus end-F-actin cross-linker.

blue iLID Schneider 2 Control of cytoskeleton / cell motility / cell shape
J Cell Biol, 19 Dec 2017 DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201705190 Link to full text
Abstract: We developed a novel optogenetic tool, SxIP-improved light-inducible dimer (iLID), to facilitate the reversible recruitment of factors to microtubule (MT) plus ends in an end-binding protein-dependent manner using blue light. We show that SxIP-iLID can track MT plus ends and recruit tgRFP-SspB upon blue light activation. We used this system to investigate the effects of cross-linking MT plus ends and F-actin in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells to gain insight into spectraplakin function and mechanism. We show that SxIP-iLID can be used to temporally recruit an F-actin binding domain to MT plus ends and cross-link the MT and F-actin networks. Cross-linking decreases MT growth velocities and generates a peripheral MT exclusion zone. SxIP-iLID facilitates the general recruitment of specific factors to MT plus ends with temporal control enabling researchers to systematically regulate MT plus end dynamics and probe MT plus end function in many biological processes.

The Spatiotemporal Limits of Developmental Erk Signaling.

blue red iLID PhyB/PIF6 D. melanogaster in vivo Schneider 2 Signaling cascade control Developmental processes
Dev Cell, 23 Jan 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2016.12.002 Link to full text
Abstract: Animal development is characterized by signaling events that occur at precise locations and times within the embryo, but determining when and where such precision is needed for proper embryogenesis has been a long-standing challenge. Here we address this question for extracellular signal regulated kinase (Erk) signaling, a key developmental patterning cue. We describe an optogenetic system for activating Erk with high spatiotemporal precision in vivo. Implementing this system in Drosophila, we find that embryogenesis is remarkably robust to ectopic Erk signaling, except from 1 to 4 hr post-fertilization, when perturbing the spatial extent of Erk pathway activation leads to dramatic disruptions of patterning and morphogenesis. Later in development, the effects of ectopic signaling are buffered, at least in part, by combinatorial mechanisms. Our approach can be used to systematically probe the differential contributions of the Ras/Erk pathway and concurrent signals, leading to a more quantitative understanding of developmental signaling.

Optogenetic Control of Gene Expression in Drosophila.

blue CRY2/CIB1 D. melanogaster in vivo Schneider 2 Transgene expression Neuronal activity control
PLoS ONE, 18 Sep 2015 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138181 Link to full text
Abstract: To study the molecular mechanism of complex biological systems, it is important to be able to artificially manipulate gene expression in desired target sites with high precision. Based on the light dependent binding of cryptochrome 2 and a cryptochrome interacting bHLH protein, we developed a split lexA transcriptional activation system for use in Drosophila that allows regulation of gene expression in vivo using blue light or two-photon excitation. We show that this system offers high spatiotemporal resolution by inducing gene expression in tissues at various developmental stages. In combination with two-photon excitation, gene expression can be manipulated at precise sites in embryos, potentially offering an important tool with which to examine developmental processes.

Light generation of intracellular Ca(2+) signals by a genetically encoded protein BACCS.

blue AsLOV2 Cos-7 HEK293 HEK293T HIT-T15 primary mouse hippocampal neurons Schneider 2 Immediate control of second messengers
Nat Commun, 18 Aug 2015 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9021 Link to full text
Abstract: Ca(2+) signals are highly regulated in a spatiotemporal manner in numerous cellular physiological events. Here we report a genetically engineered blue light-activated Ca(2+) channel switch (BACCS), as an optogenetic tool for generating Ca(2+) signals. BACCS opens Ca(2+)-selective ORAI ion channels in response to light. A BACCS variant, dmBACCS2, combined with Drosophila Orai, elevates the Ca(2+) concentration more rapidly, such that Ca(2+) elevation in mammalian cells is observed within 1 s on light exposure. Using BACCSs, we successfully control cellular events including NFAT-mediated gene expression. In the mouse olfactory system, BACCS mediates light-dependent electrophysiological responses. Furthermore, we generate BACCS mutants, which exhibit fast and slow recovery of intracellular Ca(2+). Thus, BACCSs are a useful optogenetic tool for generating temporally various intracellular Ca(2+) signals with a large dynamic range, and will be applicable to both in vitro and in vivo studies.

Light-mediated activation reveals a key role for Rac in collective guidance of cell movement in vivo.

blue AsLOV2 D. melanogaster in vivo Schneider 2 Control of cytoskeleton / cell motility / cell shape
Nat Cell Biol, 16 May 2010 DOI: 10.1038/ncb2061 Link to full text
Abstract: The small GTPase Rac induces actin polymerization, membrane ruffling and focal contact formation in cultured single cells but can either repress or stimulate motility in epithelial cells depending on the conditions. The role of Rac in collective epithelial cell movements in vivo, which are important for both morphogenesis and metastasis, is therefore difficult to predict. Recently, photoactivatable analogues of Rac (PA-Rac) have been developed, allowing rapid and reversible activation or inactivation of Rac using light. In cultured single cells, light-activated Rac leads to focal membrane ruffling, protrusion and migration. Here we show that focal activation of Rac is also sufficient to polarize an entire group of cells in vivo, specifically the border cells of the Drosophila ovary. Moreover, activation or inactivation of Rac in one cell of the cluster caused a dramatic response in the other cells, suggesting that the cells sense direction as a group according to relative levels of Rac activity. Communication between cells of the cluster required Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK) but not guidance receptor signalling. These studies further show that photoactivatable proteins are effective tools in vivo.
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