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 55 results

Tuning of B12 photochemistry in the CarH photoreceptor to avoid radical photoproduct

green Cobalamin-binding domains Background
bioRxiv, 21 Sep 2023 DOI: 10.1101/2023.08.11.552799 Link to full text
Abstract: Time-resolved infrared spectroscopy reveals the flow of electron density through coenzyme B12 in the lightactivated, bacterial transcriptional regulator, CarH. The protein stabilises a series of charge transfer states that result in a photoresponse that avoids reactive, and potentially damaging, radical photoproducts.

Selective induction of programmed cell death using synthetic biology tools.

blue green near-infrared red UV violet BLUF domains Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Cyanobacteriochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Semin Cell Dev Biol, 17 Aug 2023 DOI: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2023.07.012 Link to full text
Abstract: Regulated cell death (RCD) controls the removal of dispensable, infected or malignant cells, and is thus essential for development, homeostasis and immunity of multicellular organisms. Over the last years different forms of RCD have been described (among them apoptosis, necroptosis, pyroptosis and ferroptosis), and the cellular signaling pathways that control their induction and execution have been characterized at the molecular level. It has also become apparent that different forms of RCD differ in their capacity to elicit inflammation or an immune response, and that RCD pathways show a remarkable plasticity. Biochemical and genetic studies revealed that inhibition of a given pathway often results in the activation of back-up cell death mechanisms, highlighting close interconnectivity based on shared signaling components and the assembly of multivalent signaling platforms that can initiate different forms of RCD. Due to this interconnectivity and the pleiotropic effects of 'classical' cell death inducers, it is challenging to study RCD pathways in isolation. This has led to the development of tools based on synthetic biology that allow the targeted induction of RCD using chemogenetic or optogenetic methods. Here we discuss recent advances in the development of such toolset, highlighting their advantages and limitations, and their application for the study of RCD in cells and animals.

The clinical potential of optogenetic interrogation of pathogenesis.

blue cyan green red UV Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Clin Transl Med, May 2023 DOI: 10.1002/ctm2.1243 Link to full text
Abstract: Opsin-based optogenetics has emerged as a powerful biomedical tool using light to control protein conformation. Such capacity has been initially demonstrated to control ion flow across the cell membrane, enabling precise control of action potential in excitable cells such as neurons or muscle cells. Further advancement in optogenetics incorporates a greater variety of photoactivatable proteins and results in flexible control of biological processes, such as gene expression and signal transduction, with commonly employed light sources such as LEDs or lasers in optical microscopy. Blessed by the precise genetic targeting specificity and superior spatiotemporal resolution, optogenetics offers new biological insights into physiological and pathological mechanisms underlying health and diseases. Recently, its clinical potential has started to be capitalized, particularly for blindness treatment, due to the convenient light delivery into the eye.

Shedding light on current trends in molecular optogenetics.

blue green red violet BLUF domains Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Curr Opin Chem Biol, 18 Aug 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2022.102196 Link to full text
Abstract: Molecular optogenetics is a highly dynamic research field. In the past two years, the field was characterized by the development of new allosteric switches as well as the forward integration of optogenetics research towards application. Further, two areas of research have significantly gathered momentum, the use of optogenetics to control liquid-liquid phase separation as well as the application of optogenetic tools in the extracellular space. Here, we review these areas and discuss future directions.

Recent advances in cellular optogenetics for photomedicine.

blue cyan green near-infrared red UV violet PhyB/PIF6 BLUF domains Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Adv Drug Deliv Rev, 16 Jul 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.addr.2022.114457 Link to full text
Abstract: Since the successful introduction of exogenous photosensitive proteins, channelrhodopsin, to neurons, optogenetics has enabled substantial understanding of profound brain function by selectively manipulating neural circuits. In an optogenetic system, optical stimulation can be precisely delivered to brain tissue to achieve regulation of cellular electrical activity with unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution in living organisms. In recent years, the development of various optical actuators and novel light-delivery techniques has greatly expanded the scope of optogenetics, enabling the control of other signal pathways in non-neuronal cells for different biomedical applications, such as phototherapy and immunotherapy. This review focuses on the recent advances in optogenetic regulation of cellular activities for photomedicine. We discuss emerging optogenetic tools and light-delivery platforms, along with a survey of optogenetic execution in mammalian and microbial cells.

Plant optogenetics: Applications and perspectives.

blue cyan green near-infrared red UV Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Cyanobacteriochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Curr Opin Plant Biol, 30 Jun 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2022.102256 Link to full text
Abstract: To understand cell biological processes, like signalling pathways, protein movements, or metabolic processes, precise tools for manipulation are desired. Optogenetics allows to control cellular processes by light and can be applied at a high temporal and spatial resolution. In the last three decades, various optogenetic applications have been developed for animal, fungal, and prokaryotic cells. However, using optogenetics in plants has been difficult due to biological and technical issues, like missing cofactors, the presence of endogenous photoreceptors, or the necessity of light for photosynthesis, which potentially activates optogenetic tools constitutively. Recently developed tools overcome these limitations, making the application of optogenetics feasible also in plants. Here, we highlight the most useful recent applications in plants and give a perspective for future optogenetic approaches in plants science.

Extracellular Optogenetics at the Interface of Synthetic Biology and Materials Science.

blue cyan green red UV violet Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Front Bioeng Biotechnol, 14 Jun 2022 DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2022.903982 Link to full text
Abstract: 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.

The expanding role of split protein complementation in opsin-free optogenetics.

blue green near-infrared red violet BLUF domains Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Curr Opin Pharmacol, 21 May 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.coph.2022.102236 Link to full text
Abstract: A comprehensive understanding of signaling mechanisms helps interpret fundamental biological processes and restore cell behavior from pathological conditions. Signaling outcome depends not only on the activity of each signaling component but also on their dynamic interaction in time and space, which remains challenging to probe by biochemical and cell-based assays. Opsin-based optogenetics has transformed neural science research with its spatiotemporal modulation of the activity of excitable cells. Motivated by this advantage, opsin-free optogenetics extends the power of light to a larger spectrum of signaling molecules. This review summarizes commonly used opsin-free optogenetic strategies, presents a historical overview of split protein complementation, and highlights the adaptation of split protein recombination as optogenetic sensors and actuators.

Engineering Light-Control in Biology.

blue cyan green near-infrared red UV BLUF domains Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Cyanobacteriochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Front Bioeng Biotechnol, 28 Apr 2022 DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2022.901300 Link to full text
Abstract: 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.

Design and engineering of light-sensitive protein switches.

blue green near-infrared red Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Curr Opin Struct Biol, 20 Apr 2022 DOI: 10.1016/ Link to full text
Abstract: Engineered, light-sensitive protein switches are used to interrogate a broad variety of biological processes. These switches are typically constructed by genetically fusing naturally occurring light-responsive protein domains with functional domains from other proteins. Protein activity can be controlled using a variety of mechanisms including light-induced colocalization, caging, and allosteric regulation. Protein design efforts have focused on reducing background signaling, maximizing the change in activity upon light stimulation, and perturbing the kinetics of switching. It is common to combine structure-based modeling with experimental screening to identify ideal fusion points between domains and discover point mutations that optimize switching. Here, we introduce commonly used light-sensitive domains and summarize recent progress in using them to regulate protein activity.

B12-induced reassembly of split photoreceptor protein enables photoresponsive hydrogels with tunable mechanics.

green TtCBD in vitro Extracellular optogenetics
Sci Adv, 1 Apr 2022 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abm5482 Link to full text
Abstract: Although the tools based on split proteins have found broad applications, ranging from controlled biological signaling to advanced molecular architectures, many of them suffer from drawbacks such as background reassembly, low thermodynamic stability, and static structural features. Here, we present a chemically inducible protein assembly method enabled by the dissection of the carboxyl-terminal domain of a B12-dependent photoreceptor, CarHC. The resulting segments reassemble efficiently upon addition of cobalamin (AdoB12, MeB12, or CNB12). Photolysis of the cofactors such as AdoB12 and MeB12 further leads to stable protein adducts harboring a bis-His-ligated B12. Split CarHC enables the creation of a series of protein hydrogels, of which the mechanics can be either photostrengthened or photoweakened, depending on the type of B12. These materials are also well suited for three dimensional cell culturing. Together, this new protein chemistry, featuring negligible background autoassembly, stable conjugation, and phototunability, has opened up opportunities for designing smart materials.

A guide to designing photocontrol in proteins: methods, strategies and applications.

blue green red Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Biol Chem, 31 Mar 2022 DOI: 10.1515/hsz-2021-0417 Link to full text
Abstract: Light is essential for various biochemical processes in all domains of life. In its presence certain proteins inside a cell are excited, which either stimulates or inhibits subsequent cellular processes. The artificial photocontrol of specifically proteins is of growing interest for the investigation of scientific questions on the organismal, cellular and molecular level as well as for the development of medicinal drugs or biocatalytic tools. For the targeted design of photocontrol in proteins, three major methods have been developed over the last decades, which employ either chemical engineering of small-molecule photosensitive effectors (photopharmacology), incorporation of photoactive non-canonical amino acids by genetic code expansion (photoxenoprotein engineering), or fusion with photoreactive biological modules (hybrid protein optogenetics). This review compares the different methods as well as their strategies and current applications for the light-regulation of proteins and provides background information useful for the implementation of each technique.

Vitamin B12 photoreceptors.

green Cobalamin-binding domains C. elegans in vivo Review
Vitam Horm, 10 Mar 2022 DOI: 10.1016/bs.vh.2022.01.007 Link to full text
Abstract: Photoreceptor proteins enable living organisms to sense light and transduce this signal into biochemical outputs to elicit appropriate cellular responses. Their light sensing is typically mediated by covalently or noncovalently bound molecules called chromophores, which absorb light of specific wavelengths and modulate protein structure and biological activity. Known photoreceptors have been classified into about ten families based on the chromophore and its associated photosensory domain in the protein. One widespread photoreceptor family uses coenzyme B12 or 5'-deoxyadenosylcobalamin, a biological form of vitamin B12, to sense ultraviolet, blue, or green light, and its discovery revealed both a new type of photoreceptor and a novel functional facet of this vitamin, best known as an enzyme cofactor. Large strides have been made in our understanding of how these B12-based photoreceptors function, high-resolution structural descriptions of their functional states are available, as are details of their unusual photochemistry. Additionally, they have inspired notable applications in optogenetics/optobiochemistry and synthetic biology. Here, we provide an overview of what is currently known about these B12-based photoreceptors, their discovery, distribution, molecular mechanism of action, and the structural and photochemical basis of how they orchestrate signal transduction and gene regulation, and how they have been used to engineer optogenetic control of protein activities in living cells.

B12-dependent photoreceptor protein as an emerging tool for materials synthetic biology.

green Cobalamin-binding domains Review
Smart Materials in Medicine, 8 Mar 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.smaim.2022.03.004 Link to full text
Abstract: Controlling biomolecular interactions with light has gained traction among biomedical researchers due to its high spatiotemporal precision. Although a variety of photoresponsive chemical moieties are readily available thanks to the efforts made by chemists, genetically encoded photoswitches, also known as optogenetic tools, that are compatible with complex biological systems remain highly desirable. Recently, detailed mechanistic studies of the B12-dependent bacterial photoreceptor CarH have provided researchers with some new approaches to materials synthetic biology. Further development of this emerging molecular tool will continue to benefit future materials science and optogenetics.

Optogenetic and Chemical Induction Systems for Regulation of Transgene Expression in Plants: Use in Basic and Applied Research.

blue green red Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Int J Mol Sci, 3 Feb 2022 DOI: 10.3390/ijms23031737 Link to full text
Abstract: Continuous and ubiquitous expression of foreign genes sometimes results in harmful effects on the growth, development and metabolic activities of plants. Tissue-specific promoters help to overcome this disadvantage, but do not allow one to precisely control transgene expression over time. Thus, inducible transgene expression systems have obvious benefits. In plants, transcriptional regulation is usually driven by chemical agents under the control of chemically-inducible promoters. These systems are diverse, but usually contain two elements, the chimeric transcription factor and the reporter gene. The commonly used chemically-induced expression systems are tetracycline-, steroid-, insecticide-, copper-, and ethanol-regulated. Unlike chemical-inducible systems, optogenetic tools enable spatiotemporal, quantitative and reversible control over transgene expression with light, overcoming limitations of chemically-inducible systems. This review updates and summarizes optogenetic and chemical induction methods of transgene expression used in basic plant research and discusses their potential in field applications.

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.

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.

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.

Applications of Upconversion Nanoparticles in Cellular Optogenetics.

blue cyan green Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Review
Acta Biomater, 27 Aug 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2021.08.035 Link to full text
Abstract: Upconversion-mediated optogenetics is an emerging powerful technique to remotely control and manipulate the deep-tissue protein functions and signaling pathway activation. This technique uses lanthanide upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) as light transducers and through near-infrared light to indirectly activate the traditional optogenetic proteins. With the merits of high spatiotemporal resolution and minimal invasiveness, this technique enables cell-type specific manipulation of cellular activities in deep tissues as well as in living animals. In this review, we introduce the latest development of optogenetic modules and UCNPs, with emphasis on the integration of UCNPs with cellular optogenetics and their biomedical applications on the control of neural/brain activity, cancer therapy and cardiac optogenetics in vivo. Furthermore, we analyze the current developed strategies to optimize and advance the upconversion-mediated optogenetics and discuss the remaining challenges of its further applications in biomedical study and clinical translational research. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Optogenetics harnesses photoactivatable proteins to optically stimulate and control intracellular activities. UCNPs-mediated NIR-activatable optogenetics uses lanthanide upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) as light transducers and utilizes near-infrared (NIR) light to indirectly activate the traditional optogenetic proteins. The integration of UCNPs with cellular optogenetics has showed great promise in biomedical applications in regulating neural/brain activity, cancer therapy and cardiac optogenetics in vivo. The evolution and optimization of functional UCNPs and the discovery and engineering of novel optogenetic modules would both contribute to the advance of such unique hybrid technology, which may lead to discoveries in biomedical research and provide new treatments for human diseases.

Role of the CarH photoreceptor protein environment in the modulation of cobalamin photochemistry.

green Cobalamin-binding domains Background
Biophys J, 24 Jul 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2021.07.020 Link to full text
Abstract: The photochemistry of cobalamins has recently been found to have biological importance, with the discovery of bacterial photoreceptor proteins, such as CarH and AerR. CarH and AerR, are involved in the light regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis and bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis, respectively, in bacteria. Experimental transient absorption spectroscopic studies have indicated unusual photochemical behavior of 5'-deoxy-5'-adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl) in CarH, with excited-state charge separation between cobalt and adenosyl and possible heterolytic cleavage of the Co-adenosyl bond, as opposed to the homolytic cleavage observed in aqueous solution and in many AdoCbl-based enzymes. We employ molecular dynamics and hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations to obtain a microscopic understanding of the modulation of the excited electronic states of AdoCbl by the CarH protein environment, in contrast to aqueous solution and AdoCbl-based enzymes. Our results indicate a progressive stabilization of the electronic states involving charge transfer (CT) from cobalt/corrin to adenine on changing the environment from gas phase to water to solvated CarH. The solvent exposure of the adenosyl ligand in CarH, the π-stacking interaction between a tryptophan and the adenine moiety, and the hydrogen-bonding interaction between a glutamate and the lower axial ligand of cobalt are found to contribute to the stabilization of the states involving CT to adenine. The combination of these three factors, the latter two of which can be experimentally tested via mutagenesis studies, is absent in an aqueous solvent environment and in AdoCbl-based enzymes. The favored CT from metal and/or corrin to adenine in CarH may promote heterolytic cleavage of the cobalt-adenosyl bond proposed by experimental studies. Overall, this work provides novel, to our knowledge, physical insights into the mechanism of CarH function and directions for future experimental investigations. The fundamental understanding of the mechanism of CarH functioning will serve the development of optogenetic tools based on the new class of B12-dependent photoreceptors.

Clinical applicability of optogenetic gene regulation.

blue green near-infrared red UV Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes UV receptors Review
Biotechnol Bioeng, 20 Jul 2021 DOI: 10.1002/bit.27895 Link to full text
Abstract: The field of optogenetics is rapidly growing in relevance and number of developed tools. Amongst other things, the optogenetic repertoire includes light-responsive ion channels and methods for gene regulation. This review will be confined to the optogenetic control of gene expression in mammalian cells as suitable models for clinical applications. Here optogenetic gene regulation might offer an excellent method for spatially and timely regulated gene and protein expression in cell therapeutic approaches. Well-known systems for gene regulation, such as the LOV-, CRY2/CIB-, PhyB/PIF-systems, as well as other, in mammalian cells not yet fully established systems will be described. Advantages and disadvantages with regard to clinical applications are outlined in detail. Among the many unanswered questions concerning the application of optogenetics, we discuss items such as the use of exogenous chromophores and their effects on the biology of the cells and methods for a gentle, but effective gene transfection method for optogenetic tools for in vivo applications. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Spatiotemporal Regulation of Cell–Cell Adhesions.

blue green red Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes LOV domains Phytochromes Review
intechopen, 29 Jun 2021 DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.97009 Link to full text
Abstract: Cell–cell adhesions are fundamental in regulating multicellular behavior and lie at the center of many biological processes from embryoid development to cancer development. Therefore, controlling cell–cell adhesions is fundamental to gaining insight into these phenomena and gaining tools that would help in the bioartificial construction of tissues. For addressing biological questions as well as bottom-up tissue engineering the challenge is to have multiple cell types self-assemble in parallel and organize in a desired pattern from a mixture of different cell types. Ideally, different cell types should be triggered to self-assemble with different stimuli without interfering with the other and different types of cells should sort out in a multicellular mixture into separate clusters. In this chapter, we will summarize the developments in photoregulation cell–cell adhesions using non-neuronal optogenetics. Among the concepts, we will cover is the control of homophylic and heterophilic cell–cell adhesions, the independent control of two different types with blue or red light and the self-sorting of cells into distinct structures and the importance of cell–cell adhesion dynamics. These tools will give an overview of how the spatiotemporal regulation of cell–cell adhesion gives insight into their role and how tissues can be assembled from cells as the basic building block.

Smart-watch-programmed green-light-operated percutaneous control of therapeutic transgenes.

green near-infrared BphP1/Q-PAS1 TtCBD HEK293T Transgene expression
Nat Commun, 7 Jun 2021 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-23572-4 Link to full text
Abstract: Wearable smart electronic devices, such as smart watches, are generally equipped with green-light-emitting diodes, which are used for photoplethysmography to monitor a panoply of physical health parameters. Here, we present a traceless, green-light-operated, smart-watch-controlled mammalian gene switch (Glow Control), composed of an engineered membrane-tethered green-light-sensitive cobalamin-binding domain of Thermus thermophilus (TtCBD) CarH protein in combination with a synthetic cytosolic TtCBD-transactivator fusion protein, which manage translocation of TtCBD-transactivator into the nucleus to trigger expression of transgenes upon illumination. We show that Apple-Watch-programmed percutaneous remote control of implanted Glow-controlled engineered human cells can effectively treat experimental type-2 diabetes by producing and releasing human glucagon-like peptide-1 on demand. Directly interfacing wearable smart electronic devices with therapeutic gene expression will advance next-generation personalized therapies by linking biopharmaceutical interventions to the internet of things.

Optogenetic Approaches for the Spatiotemporal Control of Signal Transduction Pathways.

blue cyan green red Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes Fluorescent proteins LOV domains Phytochromes Review
Int J Mol Sci, 18 May 2021 DOI: 10.3390/ijms22105300 Link to full text
Abstract: Biological signals are sensed by their respective receptors and are transduced and processed by a sophisticated intracellular signaling network leading to a signal-specific cellular response. Thereby, the response to the signal depends on the strength, the frequency, and the duration of the stimulus as well as on the subcellular signal progression. Optogenetic tools are based on genetically encoded light-sensing proteins facilitating the precise spatiotemporal control of signal transduction pathways and cell fate decisions in the absence of natural ligands. In this review, we provide an overview of optogenetic approaches connecting light-regulated protein-protein interaction or caging/uncaging events with steering the function of signaling proteins. We briefly discuss the most common optogenetic switches and their mode of action. The main part deals with the engineering and application of optogenetic tools for the control of transmembrane receptors including receptor tyrosine kinases, the T cell receptor and integrins, and their effector proteins. We also address the hallmarks of optogenetics, the spatial and temporal control of signaling events.

The Rise of Molecular Optogenetics.

blue green Cobalamin-binding domains Cryptochromes LOV domains Review
Adv Biol (Weinh), May 2021 DOI: 10.1002/adbi.202100776 Link to full text
Abstract: Abstract not available.
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