Showing 1 - 8 of 8 results
Optogenetic control of beta-carotene bioproduction in yeast across multiple lab-scales.
Optogenetics arises as a valuable tool to precisely control genetic circuits in microbial cell factories. Light control holds the promise of optimizing bioproduction methods and maximizing yields, but its implementation at different steps of the strain development process and at different culture scales remains challenging. In this study, we aim to control beta-carotene bioproduction using optogenetics in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and investigate how its performance translates across culture scales. We built four lab-scale illumination devices, each handling different culture volumes, and each having specific illumination characteristics and cultivating conditions. We evaluated optogenetic activation and beta-carotene production across devices and optimized them both independently. Then, we combined optogenetic induction and beta-carotene production to make a light-inducible beta-carotene producer strain. This was achieved by placing the transcription of the bifunctional lycopene cyclase/phytoene synthase CrtYB under the control of the pC120 optogenetic promoter regulated by the EL222-VP16 light-activated transcription factor, while other carotenogenic enzymes (CrtI, CrtE, tHMG) were expressed constitutively. We show that illumination, culture volume and shaking impact differently optogenetic activation and beta-carotene production across devices. This enabled us to determine the best culture conditions to maximize light-induced beta-carotene production in each of the devices. Our study exemplifies the stakes of scaling up optogenetics in devices of different lab scales and sheds light on the interplays and potential conflicts between optogenetic control and metabolic pathway efficiency. As a general principle, we propose that it is important to first optimize both components of the system independently, before combining them into optogenetic producing strains to avoid extensive troubleshooting. We anticipate that our results can help designing both strains and devices that could eventually lead to larger scale systems in an effort to bring optogenetics to the industrial scale.
Expanding the molecular versatility of an optogenetic switch in yeast.
In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the FUN-LOV (FUNgal Light Oxygen and Voltage) optogenetic switch enables high levels of light-activated gene expression in a reversible and tunable fashion. The FUN-LOV components, under identical promoter and terminator sequences, are encoded in two different plasmids, which limits its future applications in wild and industrial yeast strains. In this work, we aim to expand the molecular versatility of the FUN-LOV switch to increase its biotechnological applications. Initially, we generated new variants of this system by replacing the promoter and terminator sequences and by cloning the system in a single plasmid (FUN-LOVSP). In a second step, we included the nourseothricin (Nat) or hygromycin (Hph) antibiotic resistances genes in the new FUN-LOVSP plasmid, generating two new variants (FUN-LOVSP-Nat and FUN-LOVSP-Hph), to allow selection after genome integration. Then, we compared the levels of light-activated expression for each FUN-LOV variants using the luciferase reporter gene in the BY4741 yeast strain. The results indicate that FUN-LOVSP-Nat and FUN-LOVSP-Hph, either episomally or genome integrated, reached higher levels of luciferase expression upon blue-light stimulation compared the original FUN-LOV system. Finally, we demonstrated the functionality of FUN-LOVSP-Hph in the 59A-EC1118 wine yeast strain, showing similar levels of reporter gene induction under blue-light respect to the laboratory strain, and with lower luciferase expression background in darkness condition. Altogether, the new FUN-LOV variants described here are functional in different yeast strains, expanding the biotechnological applications of this optogenetic tool.
Light-regulated gene expression in Bacteria: Fundamentals, advances, and perspectives.
Numerous photoreceptors and genetic circuits emerged over the past two decades and now enable the light-dependent i.e., optogenetic, regulation of gene expression in bacteria. Prompted by light cues in the near-ultraviolet to near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, gene expression can be up- or downregulated stringently, reversibly, non-invasively, and with precision in space and time. Here, we survey the underlying principles, available options, and prominent examples of optogenetically regulated gene expression in bacteria. While transcription initiation and elongation remain most important for optogenetic intervention, other processes e.g., translation and downstream events, were also rendered light-dependent. The optogenetic control of bacterial expression predominantly employs but three fundamental strategies: light-sensitive two-component systems, oligomerization reactions, and second-messenger signaling. Certain optogenetic circuits moved beyond the proof-of-principle and stood the test of practice. They enable unprecedented applications in three major areas. First, light-dependent expression underpins novel concepts and strategies for enhanced yields in microbial production processes. Second, light-responsive bacteria can be optogenetically stimulated while residing within the bodies of animals, thus prompting the secretion of compounds that grant health benefits to the animal host. Third, optogenetics allows the generation of precisely structured, novel biomaterials. These applications jointly testify to the maturity of the optogenetic approach and serve as blueprints bound to inspire and template innovative use cases of light-regulated gene expression in bacteria. Researchers pursuing these lines can choose from an ever-growing, versatile, and efficient toolkit of optogenetic circuits.
Extracellular Optogenetics at the Interface of Synthetic Biology and Materials Science.
We review fundamental mechanisms and applications of OptoGels: hydrogels with light-programmable properties endowed by photoswitchable proteins ("optoproteins") found in nature. Light, as the primary source of energy on earth, has driven evolution to develop highly-tuned functionalities, such as phototropism and circadian entrainment. These functions are mediated through a growing family of optoproteins that respond to the entire visible spectrum ranging from ultraviolet to infrared by changing their structure to transmit signals inside of cells. In a recent series of articles, engineers and biochemists have incorporated optoproteins into a variety of extracellular systems, endowing them with photocontrollability. While other routes exist for dynamically controlling material properties, light-sensitive proteins have several distinct advantages, including precise spatiotemporal control, reversibility, substrate selectivity, as well as biodegradability and biocompatibility. Available conjugation chemistries endow OptoGels with a combinatorially large design space determined by the set of optoproteins and polymer networks. These combinations result in a variety of tunable material properties. Despite their potential, relatively little of the OptoGel design space has been explored. Here, we aim to summarize innovations in this emerging field and highlight potential future applications of these next generation materials. OptoGels show great promise in applications ranging from mechanobiology, to 3D cell and organoid engineering, and programmable cell eluting materials.
Platforms for Optogenetic Stimulation and Feedback Control.
Harnessing the potential of optogenetics in biology requires methodologies from different disciplines ranging from biology, to mechatronics engineering, to control engineering. Light stimulation of a synthetic optogenetic construct in a given biological species can only be achieved via a suitable light stimulation platform. Emerging optogenetic applications entail a consistent, reproducible, and regulated delivery of light adapted to the application requirement. In this review, we explore the evolution of light-induction hardware-software platforms from simple illumination set-ups to sophisticated microscopy, microtiter plate and bioreactor designs, and discuss their respective advantages and disadvantages. Here, we examine design approaches followed in performing optogenetic experiments spanning different cell types and culture volumes, with induction capabilities ranging from single cell stimulation to entire cell culture illumination. The development of automated measurement and stimulation schemes on these platforms has enabled researchers to implement various in silico feedback control strategies to achieve computer-controlled living systems-a theme we briefly discuss in the last part of this review.
Engineering Light-Control in Biology.
Unraveling the transformative power of optogenetics in biology requires sophisticated engineering for the creation and optimization of light-regulatable proteins. In addition, diverse strategies have been used for the tuning of these light-sensitive regulators. This review highlights different protein engineering and synthetic biology approaches, which might aid in the development and optimization of novel optogenetic proteins (Opto-proteins). Focusing on non-neuronal optogenetics, chromophore availability, general strategies for creating light-controllable functions, modification of the photosensitive domains and their fusion to effector domains, as well as tuning concepts for Opto-proteins are discussed. Thus, this review shall not serve as an encyclopedic summary of light-sensitive regulators but aims at discussing important aspects for the engineering of light-controllable proteins through selected examples.
Combinatorial Approaches for Efficient Design of Photoswitchable Protein-Protein Interactions as In Vivo Actuators.
Light switchable two-component protein dimerization systems offer versatile manipulation and dissection of cellular events in living systems. Over the past 20 years, the field has been driven by the discovery of photoreceptor-based interaction systems, the engineering of light-actuatable binder proteins, and the development of photoactivatable compounds as dimerization inducers. This perspective is to categorize mechanisms and design approaches of these dimerization systems, compare their advantages and limitations, and bridge them to emerging applications. Our goal is to identify new opportunities in combinatorial protein design that can address current engineering challenges and expand in vivo applications.
Toward Multiplexed Optogenetic Circuits.
Owing to its ubiquity and easy availability in nature, light has been widely employed to control complex cellular behaviors. Light-sensitive proteins are the foundation to such diverse and multilevel adaptive regulations in a large range of organisms. Due to their remarkable properties and potential applications in engineered systems, exploration and engineering of natural light-sensitive proteins have significantly contributed to expand optogenetic toolboxes with tailor-made performances in synthetic genetic circuits. Progressively, more complex systems have been designed in which multiple photoreceptors, each sensing its dedicated wavelength, are combined to simultaneously coordinate cellular responses in a single cell. In this review, we highlight recent works and challenges on multiplexed optogenetic circuits in natural and engineered systems for a dynamic regulation breakthrough in biotechnological applications.