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 131 results
1.

A cAMP signalosome in primary cilia drives gene expression and kidney cyst formation.

blue bPAC (BlaC) mIMCD-3 Immediate control of second messengers
EMBO Rep, 13 Jun 2022 DOI: 10.15252/embr.202154315 Link to full text
Abstract: The primary cilium constitutes an organelle that orchestrates signal transduction independently from the cell body. Dysregulation of this intricate molecular architecture leads to severe human diseases, commonly referred to as ciliopathies. However, the molecular underpinnings how ciliary signaling orchestrates a specific cellular output remain elusive. By combining spatially resolved optogenetics with RNA sequencing and imaging, we reveal a novel cAMP signalosome that is functionally distinct from the cytoplasm. We identify the genes and pathways targeted by the ciliary cAMP signalosome and shed light on the underlying mechanisms and downstream signaling. We reveal that chronic stimulation of the ciliary cAMP signalosome transforms kidney epithelia from tubules into cysts. Counteracting this chronic cAMP elevation in the cilium by small molecules targeting activation of phosphodiesterase-4 long isoforms inhibits cyst growth. Thereby, we identify a novel concept of how the primary cilium controls cellular functions and maintains tissue integrity in a specific and spatially distinct manner and reveal novel molecular components that might be involved in the development of one of the most common genetic diseases, polycystic kidney disease.
2.

Soluble cyclase-mediated nuclear cAMP synthesis is sufficient for cell proliferation.

blue bPAC (BlaC) PCCL3 Signaling cascade control Immediate control of second messengers
bioRxiv, 19 May 2022 DOI: 10.1101/2022.05.18.492464 Link to full text
Abstract: cAMP is a key player in many physiological processes. Classically considered to originate solely from the plasma membrane, this view was recently challenged by observations showing that GPCRs can sustain cAMP signaling from intracellular compartments associated with nuclear PKA translocation and activation of transcriptional events. In this report we show that neither PKA translocation nor cAMP diffusion, but rather nuclear sAC activation represents the only source of nuclear cAMP accumulation, PKA activation, and CREB phosphorylation. Both pharmacological and genetic sAC inhibition, that did not affect the cytosolic cAMP levels, completed blunted nuclear cAMP accumulation, PKA activation and proliferation, while an increase in sAC nuclear expression significantly enhanced cell proliferation. Moreover, utilizing novel compartment-specific optogenetic actuators we showed that light-dependent nuclear cAMP synthesis can stimulate PKA, CREB and trigger cell proliferation. Thus, our results show that sAC-mediated nuclear accumulation is not only necessary but sufficient and rate-limiting for cAMP-dependent proliferation.
3.

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.
4.

Optogenetic tools for microbial synthetic biology.

blue green near-infrared red BLUF domains Cryptochromes Cyanobacteriochromes LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Biotechnol Adv, 6 Apr 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2022.107953 Link to full text
Abstract: Chemical induction is one of the most common modalities used to manipulate gene expression in living systems. However, chemical induction can be toxic or expensive that compromise the economic feasibility when it comes to industrial-scale synthetic biology applications. These complications have driven the pursuit of better induction systems. Optogenetics technique can be a solution as it not only enables dynamic control with unprecedented spatiotemporal precision but also is inexpensive and eco-friendlier. The optogenetic technique harnesses natural light-sensing modules that are genetically encodable and re-programmable in various hosts. By further engineering these modules to connect with the microbial regulatory machinery, gene expression and protein activity can be finely tuned simply through light irradiation. Recent works on applying optogenetics to microbial synthetic biology have yielded remarkable achievements. To further expand the usability of optogenetics, more optogenetic tools with greater portability that are compatible with different microbial hosts need to be developed. This review focuses on non-opsin optogenetic systems and the current state of optogenetic advancements in microbes, by showcasing the different designs and functions of optogenetic tools, followed by an insight into the optogenetic approaches used to circumvent challenges in synthetic biology.
5.

Optogenetics Illuminates Applications in Microbial Engineering.

blue green red UV violet BLUF domains Cryptochromes Cyanobacteriochromes LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Annu Rev Chem Biomol Eng, 23 Feb 2022 DOI: 10.1146/annurev-chembioeng-092120-092340 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetics has been used in a variety of microbial engineering applications, such as chemical and protein production, studies of cell physiology, and engineered microbe-host interactions. These diverse applications benefit from the precise spatiotemporal control that light affords, as well as its tunability, reversibility, and orthogonality. This combination of unique capabilities has enabled a surge of studies in recent years investigating complex biological systems with completely new approaches. We briefly describe the optogenetic tools that have been developed for microbial engineering, emphasizing the scientific advancements that they have enabled. In particular, we focus on the unique benefits and applications of implementing optogenetic control, from bacterial therapeutics to cybergenetics. Finally, we discuss future research directions, with special attention given to the development of orthogonal multichromatic controls. With an abundance of advantages offered by optogenetics, the future is bright in microbial engineering. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Volume 13 is October 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
6.

Selective Photoinduced Dimerization and Slow Recovery of a BLUF Domain of EB1.

blue BLUF domains Background
J Phys Chem B, 28 Jan 2022 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.1c10100 Link to full text
Abstract: The EAL-BLUF fragment from Magnetococcus marinus BldP1 (EB1) light-dependently hydrolyzes c-di-GMP. Herein, the photoreaction of the BLUF domain of EB1 (eBLUF) is studied. It is found for the first time that a monomeric BLUF domain forms a dimer upon illumination and its dark recovery is very slow. The dimer of light- and dark-state protomers (LD-dimer) is much more stable than that of two light-state protomers (LL-dimer), and the dark recovery of the LD-dimer is approximately 20 times slower than that of the LL-dimer, which is suitable for optogenetic tools. The secondary structure of the L-monomer is different from those of the D-monomer and the LD-dimer. The transient grating measurements reveal that this conformational change occurs simultaneously with dimerization. Although the W91A mutant exhibits a spectral red shift, it forms a heterodimer with the L-monomer of wild-type eBLUF with similar stability to the LD-dimer. This suggests that the conformation of the dimerization site of W91A is similar to that of the dark state (dark-mimic mutant); that is, the light-induced structural changes in the chromophore cavity are not transferred to the other part of the protein. The selective photoinduced dimerization of eBLUF is potentially useful to control interprotein interactions between two different effector domains bound to these proteins.
7.

Optophysiology: Illuminating cell physiology with optogenetics.

blue cyan green near-infrared red UV violet BLUF domains Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Cyanobacteriochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Physiol Rev, 24 Jan 2022 DOI: 10.1152/physrev.00021.2021 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetics combines light and genetics to enable precise control of living cells, tissues, and organisms with tailored functions. Optogenetics has the advantages of noninvasiveness, rapid responsiveness, tunable reversibility, and superior spatiotemporal resolution. Following the initial discovery of microbial opsins as light-actuated ion channels, a plethora of naturally occurring or engineered photoreceptors or photosensitive domains that respond to light at varying wavelengths has ushered in the next chapter of optogenetics. Through protein engineering and synthetic biology approaches, genetically encoded photoswitches can be modularly engineered into protein scaffolds or host cells to control a myriad of biological processes, as well as to enable behavioral control and disease intervention in vivo. Here, we summarize these optogenetic tools on the basis of their fundamental photochemical properties to better inform the chemical basis and design principles. We also highlight exemplary applications of opsin-free optogenetics in dissecting cellular physiology (designated "optophysiology") and describe the current progress, as well as future trends, in wireless optogenetics, which enables remote interrogation of physiological processes with minimal invasiveness. This review is anticipated to spark novel thoughts on engineering next-generation optogenetic tools and devices that promise to accelerate both basic and translational studies.
8.

Photophysics of the Blue Light Using Flavin Domain.

blue BLUF domains Background
Acc Chem Res, 12 Jan 2022 DOI: 10.1021/acs.accounts.1c00659 Link to full text
Abstract: ConspectusLight activated proteins are at the heart of photobiology and optogenetics, so there is wide interest in understanding the mechanisms coupling optical excitation to protein function. In addition, such light activated proteins provide unique insights into the real-time dynamics of protein function. Using pump-probe spectroscopy, the function of a photoactive protein can be initiated by a sub-100 fs pulse of light, allowing subsequent protein dynamics to be probed from femtoseconds to milliseconds and beyond. Among the most interesting photoactive proteins are the blue light using flavin (BLUF) domain proteins, which regulate the response to light of a wide range of bacterial and some euglenoid processes. The photosensing mechanism of BLUF domains has long been a subject of debate. In contrast to other photoactive proteins, the electronic and nuclear structure of the chromophore (flavin) is the same in dark- and light-adapted states. Thus, the driving force for photoactivity is unclear.To address this question requires real-time observation of both chromophore excited state processes and their effect on the structure and dynamics of the surrounding protein matrix. In this Account we describe how time-resolved infrared (IR) experiments, coupled with chemical biology, provide important new insights into the signaling mechanism of BLUF domains. IR measurements are sensitive to changes in both chromophore electronic structure and protein hydrogen bonding interactions. These contributions are resolved by isotope labeling of the chromophore and protein separately. Further, a degree of control over BLUF photochemistry is achieved through mutagenesis, while unnatural amino acid substitution allows us to both fine-tune the photochemistry and time resolve protein dynamics with spatial resolution.Ultrafast studies of BLUF domains reveal non-single-exponential relaxation of the flavin excited state. That relaxation leads within one nanosecond to the original flavin ground state bound in a modified hydrogen-bonding network, as seen in transient and steady-state IR spectroscopy. The change in H-bond configuration arises from formation of an unusual enol (imine) form of a critical glutamine residue. The dynamics observed, complemented by quantum mechanical calculations, suggest a unique sequential electron then double proton transfer reaction as the driving force, followed by rapid reorganization in the binding site and charge recombination. Importantly, studies of several BLUF domains reveal an unexpected diversity in their dynamics, although the underlying structure appears highly conserved. It is suggested that this diversity reflects structural dynamics in the ground state at standard temperature, leading to a distribution of structures and photochemical outcomes. Time resolved IR measurements were extended to the millisecond regime for one BLUF domain, revealing signaling state formation on the microsecond time scale. The mechanism involves reorganization of a β-sheet connected to the chromophore binding pocket via a tryptophan residue. The potential of site-specific labeling amino acids with IR labels as a tool for probing protein structural dynamics was demonstrated.In summary, time-resolved IR studies of BLUF domains (along with related studies at visible wavelengths and quantum and molecular dynamics calculations) have resolved the photoactivation mechanism and real-time dynamics of signaling state formation. These measurements provide new insights into protein structural dynamics and will be important in optimizing the potential of BLUF domains in optobiology.
9.

Optogenetic approaches in biotechnology and biomaterials.

blue cyan green near-infrared red violet BLUF domains Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Cyanobacteriochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Trends Biotechnol, 11 Jan 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2021.12.007 Link to full text
Abstract: Advances in genetic engineering, combined with the development of optical technologies, have allowed optogenetics to broaden its area of possible applications in recent years. However, the application of optogenetic tools in industry, including biotechnology and the production of biomaterials, is still limited, because each practical task requires the engineering of a specific optogenetic system. In this review, we discuss recent advances in the use of optogenetic tools in the production of biofuels and valuable chemicals, the synthesis of biomedical and polymer materials, and plant agrobiology. We also offer a comprehensive analysis of the properties and industrial applicability of light-controlled and other smart biomaterials. These data allow us to outline the prospects for the future use of optogenetics in bioindustry.
10.

Slow conformational changes of blue light sensor BLUF proteins in milliseconds.

blue BLUF domains Background
bioRxiv, 16 Dec 2021 DOI: 10.1101/2021.12.13.472511 Link to full text
Abstract: BLUF (blue light sensor using flavin) proteins consist of flavin-binding BLUF domains and functional domains. Upon blue light excitation, the hydrogen bond network around the flavin chromophore changes, and the absorption spectrum in the visible region exhibits red-shift. Ultimately, the light information received in the BLUF domain is transmitted to the functional region. It has been believed that this red-shift is complete within nanoseconds. Contrary to this commonly accepted scheme, in this study, slow reaction kinetics were discovered in milliseconds (τ1- and τ2-phase) for all the BLUF proteins examined (AppA, OaPAC, BlrP1, YcgF, PapB, SyPixD, and TePixD). Despite extensive reports on BLUF, this is the first clear observation of the BLUF protein absorption change with the duration in the millisecond time region. From the measurements of some domain-deleted mutants of OaPAC and two chimeric mutants of PixD proteins, it was found that the slower dynamics (τ2-phase) are strongly affected by the size and nature of the C-terminal region adjacent to the BLUF domain. Hence, this millisecond reaction is a significant indicator of conformational changes in the C-terminal region, which is essential for the biological functions. On the other hand, the τ1-phase commonly exists in all BLUF proteins, including any mutants. The origin of the slow dynamics was studied using site-specific mutants. These results clearly show the importance of Trp in the BLUF domain. Based on this, a reaction scheme for the BLUF reaction is proposed.
11.

Optogenetics in bacteria - applications and opportunities.

blue green near-infrared red BLUF domains Cryptochromes Cyanobacteriochromes LOV domains Phytochromes Review
FEMS Microbiol Rev, 13 Nov 2021 DOI: 10.1093/femsre/fuab055 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetics holds the promise of controlling biological processes with superb temporal and spatial resolution at minimal perturbation. Although many of the light-reactive proteins used in optogenetic systems are derived from prokaryotes, applications were largely limited to eukaryotes for a long time. In recent years, however, an increasing number of microbiologists use optogenetics as a powerful new tool to study and control key aspects of bacterial biology in a fast and often reversible manner. After a brief discussion of optogenetic principles, this review provides an overview of the rapidly growing number of optogenetic applications in bacteria, with a particular focus on studies venturing beyond transcriptional control. To guide future experiments, we highlight helpful tools, provide considerations for successful application of optogenetics in bacterial systems, and identify particular opportunities and challenges that arise when applying these approaches in bacteria.
12.

The Red Edge: Bilin-Binding Photoreceptors as Optogenetic Tools and Fluorescence Reporters.

blue green near-infrared red UV violet BLUF domains Cryptochromes Cyanobacteriochromes LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Chem Rev, 20 Oct 2021 DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.1c00194 Link to full text
Abstract: This review adds the bilin-binding phytochromes to the Chemical Reviews thematic issue "Optogenetics and Photopharmacology". The work is structured into two parts. We first outline the photochemistry of the covalently bound tetrapyrrole chromophore and summarize relevant spectroscopic, kinetic, biochemical, and physiological properties of the different families of phytochromes. Based on this knowledge, we then describe the engineering of phytochromes to further improve these chromoproteins as photoswitches and review their employment in an ever-growing number of different optogenetic applications. Most applications rely on the light-controlled complex formation between the plant photoreceptor PhyB and phytochrome-interacting factors (PIFs) or C-terminal light-regulated domains with enzymatic functions present in many bacterial and algal phytochromes. Phytochrome-based optogenetic tools are currently implemented in bacteria, yeast, plants, and animals to achieve light control of a wide range of biological activities. These cover the regulation of gene expression, protein transport into cell organelles, and the recruitment of phytochrome- or PIF-tagged proteins to membranes and other cellular compartments. This compilation illustrates the intrinsic advantages of phytochromes compared to other photoreceptor classes, e.g., their bidirectional dual-wavelength control enabling instant ON and OFF regulation. In particular, the long wavelength range of absorption and fluorescence within the "transparent window" makes phytochromes attractive for complex applications requiring deep tissue penetration or dual-wavelength control in combination with blue and UV light-sensing photoreceptors. In addition to the wide variability of applications employing natural and engineered phytochromes, we also discuss recent progress in the development of bilin-based fluorescent proteins.
13.

Optogenetic strategies for the control of gene expression in yeasts.

blue green near-infrared red UV violet BLUF domains Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Cyanobacteriochromes LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Biotechnol Adv, 28 Sep 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2021.107839 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetics involves the use of light to control cellular functions and has become increasingly popular in various areas of research, especially in the precise control of gene expression. While this technology is already well established in neurobiology and basic research, its use in bioprocess development is still emerging. Some optogenetic switches have been implemented in yeasts for different purposes, taking advantage of a wide repertoire of biological parts and relatively easy genetic manipulation. In this review, we cover the current strategies used for the construction of yeast strains to be used in optogenetically controlled protein or metabolite production, as well as the operational aspects to be considered for the scale-up of this type of process. Finally, we discuss the main applications of optogenetic switches in yeast systems and highlight the main advantages and challenges of bioprocess development considering future directions for this field.
14.

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.
15.

The state of the art of biomedical applications of optogenetics.

blue red BLUF domains Cryptochromes LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Lasers Surg Med, 7 Aug 2021 DOI: 10.1002/lsm.23463 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetics has opened new insights into biomedical research with the ability to manipulate and control cellular activity using light in combination with genetically engineered photosensitive proteins. By stimulating with light, this method provides high spatiotemporal and high specificity resolution, which is in contrast to conventional pharmacological or electrical stimulation. Optogenetics was initially introduced to control neural activities but was gradually extended to other biomedical fields.
16.

Optogenetic approaches for understanding homeostatic and degenerative processes in Drosophila.

blue cyan near-infrared red BLUF domains Cryptochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Cell Mol Life Sci, 7 Jul 2021 DOI: 10.1007/s00018-021-03836-4 Link to full text
Abstract: Many organs and tissues have an intrinsic ability to regenerate from a dedicated, tissue-specific stem cell pool. As organisms age, the process of self-regulation or homeostasis begins to slow down with fewer stem cells available for tissue repair. Tissues become more fragile and organs less efficient. This slowdown of homeostatic processes leads to the development of cellular and neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we highlight the recent use and future potential of optogenetic approaches to study homeostasis. Optogenetics uses photosensitive molecules and genetic engineering to modulate cellular activity in vivo, allowing precise experiments with spatiotemporal control. We look at applications of this technology for understanding the mechanisms governing homeostasis and degeneration as applied to widely used model organisms, such as Drosophila melanogaster, where other common tools are less effective or unavailable.
17.

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.
18.

mem-iLID, a fast and economic protein purification method.

blue bPAC (BlaC) iLID E. coli Xenopus oocytes
Biosci Rep, 18 Jun 2021 DOI: 10.1042/bsr20210800 Link to full text
Abstract: Protein purification is the vital basis to study the function, structure and interaction of proteins. Widely used methods are affinity chromatography-based purifications, which require different chromatography columns and harsh conditions, such as acidic pH and/or adding imidazole or high salt concentration, to elute and collect the purified proteins. Here we established an easy and fast purification method for soluble proteins under mild conditions, based on the light-induced protein dimerization system iLID, which regulates protein binding and release with light. We utilize the biological membrane, which can be easily separated by centrifugation, as the port to anchor the target proteins. In Xenopus laevis oocyte and Escherichia coli, the blue light-sensitive part of iLID, AsLOV2-SsrA, was targeted to the plasma membrane by different membrane anchors. The other part of iLID, SspB, was fused with the protein of interest (POI) and expressed in the cytosol. The SspB-POI can be captured to the membrane fraction through light-induced binding to AsLOV2-SsrA and then released purely to fresh buffer in the dark after simple centrifugation and washing. This method, named mem-iLID, is very flexible in scale and economic. We demonstrate the quickly obtained yield of two pure and fully functional enzymes: a DNA polymerase and a light-activated adenylyl cyclase. Furthermore, we also designed a new SspB mutant for better dissociation and less interference with the protein of interest, which could potentially facilitate other optogenetic manipulations of protein-protein interaction.
19.

Synthetic biology as driver for the biologization of materials sciences.

blue cyan red UV BLUF domains Cryptochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Mater Today Bio, 26 May 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.mtbio.2021.100115 Link to full text
Abstract: Materials in nature have fascinating properties that serve as a continuous source of inspiration for materials scientists. Accordingly, bio-mimetic and bio-inspired approaches have yielded remarkable structural and functional materials for a plethora of applications. Despite these advances, many properties of natural materials remain challenging or yet impossible to incorporate into synthetic materials. Natural materials are produced by living cells, which sense and process environmental cues and conditions by means of signaling and genetic programs, thereby controlling the biosynthesis, remodeling, functionalization, or degradation of the natural material. In this context, synthetic biology offers unique opportunities in materials sciences by providing direct access to the rational engineering of how a cell senses and processes environmental information and translates them into the properties and functions of materials. Here, we identify and review two main directions by which synthetic biology can be harnessed to provide new impulses for the biologization of the materials sciences: first, the engineering of cells to produce precursors for the subsequent synthesis of materials. This includes materials that are otherwise produced from petrochemical resources, but also materials where the bio-produced substances contribute unique properties and functions not existing in traditional materials. Second, engineered living materials that are formed or assembled by cells or in which cells contribute specific functions while remaining an integral part of the living composite material. We finally provide a perspective of future scientific directions of this promising area of research and discuss science policy that would be required to support research and development in this field.
20.

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.
21.

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.
22.

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.
23.

Signaling, Deconstructed: Using Optogenetics to Dissect and Direct Information Flow in Biological Systems.

blue cyan green near-infrared red UV violet BLUF domains Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Annu Rev Biomed Eng, 15 Mar 2021 DOI: 10.1146/annurev-bioeng-083120-111648 Link to full text
Abstract: Cells receive enormous amounts of information from their environment. How they act on this information-by migrating, expressing genes, or relaying signals to other cells-comprises much of the regulatory and self-organizational complexity found across biology. The "parts list" involved in cell signaling is generally well established, but how do these parts work together to decode signals and produce appropriate responses? This fundamental question is increasingly being addressed with optogenetic tools: light-sensitive proteins that enable biologists to manipulate the interaction, localization, and activity state of proteins with high spatial and temporal precision. In this review, we summarize how optogenetics is being used in the pursuit of an answer to this question, outlining the current suite of optogenetic tools available to the researcher and calling attention to studies that increase our understanding of and improve our ability to engineer biology. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering, Volume 23 is June 2021. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
24.

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.
25.

Light-Induced Change of Arginine Conformation Modulates the Rate of Adenosine Triphosphate to Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate Conversion in the Optogenetic System Containing Photoactivated Adenylyl Cyclase.

blue bPAC (BlaC) in silico
J Chem Inf Model, 7 Mar 2021 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jcim.0c01308 Link to full text
Abstract: We report the first computational characterization of an optogenetic system composed of two photosensing BLUF (blue light sensor using flavin adenine dinucleotide) domains and two catalytic adenylyl cyclase (AC) domains. Conversion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to the reaction products, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and pyrophosphate (PPi), catalyzed by ACs initiated by excitation in photosensing domains has emerged in the focus of modern optogenetic applications because of the request in photoregulated enzymes that modulate cellular concentrations of signaling messengers. The photoactivated AC from the soil bacterium Beggiatoa sp. (bPAC) is an important model showing a considerable increase in the ATP to cAMP conversion rate in the catalytic domain after the illumination of the BLUF domain. The 1 μs classical molecular dynamics simulations reveal that the activation of the BLUF domain leading to tautomerization of Gln49 in the chromophore-binding pocket results in switching of the position of the side chain of Arg278 in the active site of AC. Allosteric signal transmission pathways between Gln49 from BLUF and Arg278 from AC were revealed by the dynamical network analysis. The Gibbs energy profiles of the ATP → cAMP + PPi reaction computed using QM(DFT(ωB97X-D3/6-31G**))/MM(CHARMM) molecular dynamics simulations for both Arg278 conformations in AC clarify the reaction mechanism. In the light-activated system, the corresponding arginine conformation stabilizes the pentacoordinated phosphorus of the α-phosphate group in the transition state, thus lowering the activation energy. Simulations of the bPAC system with the Tyr7Phe replacement in the BLUF demonstrate occurrence of both arginine conformations in an equal ratio, explaining the experimentally observed intermediate catalytic activity of the bPAC-Y7F variant as compared with the dark and light states of the wild-type bPAC.
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