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 51 results
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1.

Implementation of a Novel Optogenetic Tool in Mammalian Cells Based on a Split T7 RNA Polymerase.

blue Magnets VVD HEK293T Transgene expression
ACS Synth Biol, 3 Aug 2022 DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.2c00067 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetic tools are widely used to control gene expression dynamics both in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. These tools are used in a variety of biological applications from stem cell differentiation to metabolic engineering. Despite some tools already available in bacteria, no light-inducible system currently exists to control gene expression independently from mammalian transcriptional and/or translational machineries thus working orthogonally to endogenous regulatory mechanisms. Such a tool would be particularly important in synthetic biology, where orthogonality is advantageous to achieve robust activation of synthetic networks. Here we implement, characterize, and optimize a new optogenetic tool in mammalian cells based on a previously published system in bacteria called Opto-T7RNAPs. The tool is orthogonal to the cellular machinery for transcription and consists of a split T7 RNA polymerase coupled with the blue light-inducible magnets system (mammalian OptoT7-mOptoT7). In our study we exploited the T7 polymerase's viral origins to tune our system's expression level, reaching up to an almost 20-fold change activation over the dark control. mOptoT7 is used here to generate mRNA for protein expression, shRNA for protein inhibition, and Pepper aptamer for RNA visualization. Moreover, we show that mOptoT7 can mitigate the gene expression burden when compared to another optogenetic construct. These properties make mOptoT7 a powerful new tool to use when orthogonality and viral RNA species (that lack endogenous RNA modifications) are desired.
2.

Engineered Cas9 extracellular vesicles as a novel gene editing tool.

blue red CRY2/CIB1 Magnets PhyB/PIF6 VVD HEK293T Nucleic acid editing
J Extracell Vesicles, May 2022 DOI: 10.1002/jev2.12225 Link to full text
Abstract: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have shown promise as biological delivery vehicles, but therapeutic applications require efficient cargo loading. Here, we developed new methods for CRISPR/Cas9 loading into EVs through reversible heterodimerization of Cas9-fusions with EV sorting partners. Cas9-loaded EVs were collected from engineered Expi293F cells using standard methodology, characterized using nanoparticle tracking analysis, western blotting, and transmission electron microscopy and analysed for CRISPR/Cas9-mediated functional gene editing in a Cre-reporter cellular assay. Light-induced dimerization using Cryptochrome 2 combined with CD9 or a Myristoylation-Palmitoylation-Palmitoylation lipid modification resulted in efficient loading with approximately 25 Cas9 molecules per EV and high functional delivery with 51% gene editing of the Cre reporter cassette in HEK293 and 25% in HepG2 cells, respectively. This approach was also effective for targeting knock-down of the therapeutically relevant PCSK9 gene with 6% indel efficiency in HEK293. Cas9 transfer was detergent-sensitive and associated with the EV fractions after size exclusion chromatography, indicative of EV-mediated transfer. Considering the advantages of EVs over other delivery vectors we envision that this study will prove useful for a range of therapeutic applications, including CRISPR/Cas9 mediated genome editing.
3.

Light-switchable diphtherin transgene system combined with losartan for triple negtative breast cancer therapy based on nano drug delivery system.

blue VVD 4T1 mouse in vivo Endogenous gene expression
Int J Pharm, 22 Feb 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2022.121613 Link to full text
Abstract: Breast cancer is a common malignancy in women. The abnormally dense collagen network in breast cancer forms a therapeutic barrier that hinders the penetration and anti-tumor effect of drugs. To overcome this hurdle, we adopted a therapeutic strategy to treat breast cancer which combined a light-switchable transgene system and losartan. The light-switchable transgene system could regulate expression of the diphtheria toxin A fragment (DTA) gene with a high on/off ratio under blue light and had great potential for spatiotemporally controllable gene expression. We developed a nanoparticle drug delivery system to achieve tumor microenvironment-responsive and targeted delivery of DTA-encoded plasmids (pDTA) to tumor sites via dual targeting to cluster of differentiation-44 and αvβ3 receptors. In vivo studies indicated that the combination of pDTA and losartan reduce the concentration of collagen type I from 5.9 to 1.9 µg/g and decreased the level of active transforming growth factor-β by 75.0% in tumor tissues. Moreover, deeper tumor penetration was achieved, tumor growth was inhibited, and the survival rate was increased. Our combination strategy provides a novel and practical method for clinical treatment of breast cancer.
4.

Bifunctional optogenetic switch for improving shikimic acid production in E. coli.

blue VVD E. coli Transgene expression
Biotechnol Biofuels, 7 Feb 2022 DOI: 10.1186/s13068-022-02111-3 Link to full text
Abstract: Background Biomass formation and product synthesis decoupling have been proven to be promising to increase the titer of desired value add products. Optogenetics provides a potential strategy to develop light-induced circuits that conditionally control metabolic flux redistribution for enhanced microbial production. However, the limited number of light-sensitive proteins available to date hinders the progress of light-controlled tools. Results To address these issues, two optogenetic systems (TPRS and TPAS) were constructed by reprogramming the widely used repressor TetR and protease TEVp to expand the current optogenetic toolkit. By merging the two systems, a bifunctional optogenetic switch was constructed to enable orthogonally regulated gene transcription and protein accumulation. Application of this bifunctional switch to decouple biomass formation and shikimic acid biosynthesis allowed 35 g/L of shikimic acid production in a minimal medium from glucose, representing the highest titer reported to date by E. coli without the addition of any chemical inducers and expensive aromatic amino acids. This titer was further boosted to 76 g/L when using rich medium fermentation. Conclusion The cost effective and light-controlled switch reported here provides important insights into environmentally friendly tools for metabolic pathway regulation and should be applicable to the production of other value-add chemicals.
5.

Optogenetic control of RNA function and metabolism using engineered light-switchable RNA-binding proteins.

blue CRY2/CIB1 PAL VVD HEK293T HeLa Transgene expression Epigenetic modification Endogenous gene expression
Nat Biotechnol, 3 Jan 2022 DOI: 10.1038/s41587-021-01112-1 Link to full text
Abstract: RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) play an essential role in regulating the function of RNAs in a cellular context, but our ability to control RBP activity in time and space is limited. Here, we describe the engineering of LicV, a photoswitchable RBP that binds to a specific RNA sequence in response to blue light irradiation. When fused to various RNA effectors, LicV allows for optogenetic control of RNA localization, splicing, translation and stability in cell culture. Furthermore, LicV-assisted CRISPR-Cas systems allow for efficient and tunable photoswitchable regulation of transcription and genomic locus labeling. These data demonstrate that the photoswitchable RBP LicV can serve as a programmable scaffold for the spatiotemporal control of synthetic RNA effectors.
6.

Opto-Katanin: An Optogenetic Tool for Localized Microtubule Disassembly.

blue iLID VVD Cos-7 HeLa rat hippocampal neurons U-2 OS Control of cytoskeleton / cell motility / cell shape
bioRxiv, 23 Dec 2021 DOI: 10.1101/2021.12.22.473806 Link to full text
Abstract: Microtubules are major cytoskeletal filaments that drive chromosome separation during cell division, serve as rails for intracellular transport and as a scaffold for organelle positioning. Experimental manipulation of microtubules is widely used in cell and developmental biology, but tools for precise subcellular spatiotemporal control of microtubule integrity are currently lacking. Here, we exploit the dependence of the mammalian microtubule-severing protein katanin on microtubule-targeting co-factors to generate a light-activated system for localized microtubule disassembly that we named opto-katanin. Targeted illumination with blue light induces rapid and localized opto-katanin recruitment and local microtubule depolymerization, which is quickly reversible after stopping light-induced activation. Opto-katanin can be employed to locally perturb microtubule-based transport and organelle morphology in dividing cells and differentiated neurons with high spatiotemporal precision. We show that different microtubule-associated proteins can be used to recruit opto-katanin to microtubules and induce severing, paving the way for spatiotemporally precise manipulation of specific microtubule subpopulations.
7.

Modular and Molecular Optimization of a LOV (Light-Oxygen-Voltage)-Based Optogenetic Switch in Yeast.

blue NcWC1-LOV VVD S. cerevisiae Transgene expression
Int J Mol Sci, 9 Aug 2021 DOI: 10.3390/ijms22168538 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetic switches allow light-controlled gene expression with reversible and spatiotemporal resolution. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, optogenetic tools hold great potential for a variety of metabolic engineering and biotechnology applications. In this work, we report on the modular optimization of the fungal light-oxygen-voltage (FUN-LOV) system, an optogenetic switch based on photoreceptors from the fungus Neurospora crassa. We also describe new switch variants obtained by replacing the Gal4 DNA-binding domain (DBD) of FUN-LOV with nine different DBDs from yeast transcription factors of the zinc cluster family. Among the tested modules, the variant carrying the Hap1p DBD, which we call "HAP-LOV", displayed higher levels of luciferase expression upon induction compared to FUN-LOV. Further, the combination of the Hap1p DBD with either p65 or VP16 activation domains also resulted in higher levels of reporter expression compared to the original switch. Finally, we assessed the effects of the plasmid copy number and promoter strength controlling the expression of the FUN-LOV and HAP-LOV components, and observed that when low-copy plasmids and strong promoters were used, a stronger response was achieved in both systems. Altogether, we describe a new set of blue-light optogenetic switches carrying different protein modules, which expands the available suite of optogenetic tools in yeast and can additionally be applied to other systems.
8.

Reliably Engineering and Controlling Stable Optogenetic Gene Circuits in Mammalian Cells.

blue AsLOV2 VVD HEK293
J Vis Exp, 6 Jul 2021 DOI: 10.3791/62109 Link to full text
Abstract: Reliable gene expression control in mammalian cells requires tools with high fold change, low noise, and determined input-to-output transfer functions, regardless of the method used. Toward this goal, optogenetic gene expression systems have gained much attention over the past decade for spatiotemporal control of protein levels in mammalian cells. However, most existing circuits controlling light-induced gene expression vary in architecture, are expressed from plasmids, and utilize variable optogenetic equipment, creating a need to explore characterization and standardization of optogenetic components in stable cell lines. Here, the study provides an experimental pipeline of reliable gene circuit construction, integration, and characterization for controlling light-inducible gene expression in mammalian cells, using a negative feedback optogenetic circuit as a case example. The protocols also illustrate how standardizing optogenetic equipment and light regimes can reliably reveal gene circuit features such as gene expression noise and protein expression magnitude. Lastly, this paper may be of use for laboratories unfamiliar with optogenetics who wish to adopt such technology. The pipeline described here should apply for other optogenetic circuits in mammalian cells, allowing for more reliable, detailed characterization and control of gene expression at the transcriptional, proteomic, and ultimately phenotypic level in mammalian cells.
9.

A Light-Oxygen-Voltage Receptor Integrates Light and Temperature.

blue PtAU1-LOV RsLOV VfAU1-LOV VVD E. coli HEK293T
J Mol Biol, 17 Jun 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2021.167107 Link to full text
Abstract: Sensory photoreceptors enable organisms to adjust their physiology, behavior, and development in response to light, generally with spatiotemporal acuity and reversibility. These traits underlie the use of photoreceptors as genetically encoded actuators to alter by light the state and properties of heterologous organisms. Subsumed as optogenetics, pertinent approaches enable regulating diverse cellular processes, not least gene expression. Here, we controlled the widely used Tet repressor by coupling to light-oxygen-voltage (LOV) modules that either homodimerize or dissociate under blue light. Repression could thus be elevated or relieved, and consequently protein expression was modulated by light. Strikingly, the homodimeric RsLOV module from Rhodobacter sphaeroides not only dissociated under light but intrinsically reacted to temperature. The limited light responses of wild-type RsLOV at 37 °C were enhanced in two variants that exhibited closely similar photochemistry and structure. One variant improved the weak homodimerization affinity of 40 µM by two-fold and thus also bestowed light sensitivity on a receptor tyrosine kinase. Certain photoreceptors, exemplified by RsLOV, can evidently moonlight as temperature sensors which immediately bears on their application in optogenetics and biotechnology. Properly accounted for, the temperature sensitivity can be leveraged for the construction of signal-responsive cellular circuits.
10.

Engineering AraC to make it responsive to light instead of arabinose.

blue VVD E. coli Transgene expression
Nat Chem Biol, 26 Apr 2021 DOI: 10.1038/s41589-021-00787-6 Link to full text
Abstract: The L-arabinose-responsive AraC and its cognate PBAD promoter underlie one of the most often used chemically inducible prokaryotic gene expression systems in microbiology and synthetic biology. Here, we change the sensing capability of AraC from L-arabinose to blue light, making its dimerization and the resulting PBAD activation light-inducible. We engineer an entire family of blue light-inducible AraC dimers in Escherichia coli (BLADE) to control gene expression in space and time. We show that BLADE can be used with pre-existing L-arabinose-responsive plasmids and strains, enabling optogenetic experiments without the need to clone. Furthermore, we apply BLADE to control, with light, the catabolism of L-arabinose, thus externally steering bacterial growth with a simple transformation step. Our work establishes BLADE as a highly practical and effective optogenetic tool with plug-and-play functionality-features that we hope will accelerate the broader adoption of optogenetics and the realization of its vast potential in microbiology, synthetic biology and biotechnology.
11.

Light-induced local gene expression in primary chick cell culture system.

blue VVD primary chick limb mesenchyme cells Transgene expression
Dev Growth Differ, 18 Mar 2021 DOI: 10.1111/dgd.12721 Link to full text
Abstract: The ability to manipulate gene expression at a specific region in a tissue or cell culture system is critical for analysis of target gene function. For chick embryos/cells, several gene introduction/induction methods have been established such as those involving retrovirus, electroporation, sonoporation, and lipofection. However, these methods have limitations in the accurate induction of localized gene expression. Here we demonstrate the effective application of a recently developed light-dependent gene expression induction system (LightOn system) using the Neurospora crassa photoreceptor Vivid fused with a Gal4 DNA binding domain and p65 activation domain (GAVPO) that alters its activity in response to light stimulus in a primary chicken cell culture system. We show that the gene expression level and induction specificity in this system are strongly dependent on the light irradiation conditions. Especially, the irradiation interval is an important parameter for modulating gene expression; for shorter time intervals, higher induction specificity can be achieved. Further, by adjusting light irradiation conditions, the expression level in primary chicken cells can be regulated in a multiple step manner, in contrast to the binary expression seen for gene disruption or introduction (i.e., null or overexpression). This result indicates that the light-dependent expression control method can be a useful technique in chick models to examine how gene funtion is affected by gradual changes in gene expression levels. We applied this light-induction system to regulate Sox9 expression in cultures of chick limb mesenchyme cells and showed that induced SOX9 protein could modulate expression of downstream genes.
12.

A synthetic BRET-based optogenetic device for pulsatile transgene expression enabling glucose homeostasis in mice.

blue CRY2/CIB1 LOVTRAP VVD A549 Cos-7 HEK293 HEK293T HeLa mouse in vivo NCI-H1299 PC-3 U-87 MG Transgene expression
Nat Commun, 27 Jan 2021 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-20913-1 Link to full text
Abstract: Pulsing cellular dynamics in genetic circuits have been shown to provide critical capabilities to cells in stress response, signaling and development. Despite the fascinating discoveries made in the past few years, the mechanisms and functional capabilities of most pulsing systems remain unclear, and one of the critical challenges is the lack of a technology that allows pulsatile regulation of transgene expression both in vitro and in vivo. Here, we describe the development of a synthetic BRET-based transgene expression (LuminON) system based on a luminescent transcription factor, termed luminGAVPO, by fusing NanoLuc luciferase to the light-switchable transcription factor GAVPO. luminGAVPO allows pulsatile and quantitative activation of transgene expression via both chemogenetic and optogenetic approaches in mammalian cells and mice. Both the pulse amplitude and duration of transgene expression are highly tunable via adjustment of the amount of furimazine. We further demonstrated LuminON-mediated blood-glucose homeostasis in type 1 diabetic mice. We believe that the BRET-based LuminON system with the pulsatile dynamics of transgene expression provides a highly sensitive tool for precise manipulation in biological systems that has strong potential for application in diverse basic biological studies and gene- and cell-based precision therapies in the future.
13.

Photobiologically Directed Assembly of Gold Nanoparticles.

blue PtAU1-LOV VVD in vitro Extracellular optogenetics
Adv Biol, 30 Dec 2020 DOI: 10.1002/adbi.202000179 Link to full text
Abstract: In nature, photoreceptor proteins undergo molecular responses to light, that exhibit supreme fidelity in time and space and generally occur under mild reaction conditions. To unlock these traits for material science, the light‐induced homodimerization of light‐oxygen‐voltage (LOV) photoreceptors is leveraged to control the assembly of gold nanoparticles. Conjugated to genetically encodable LOV proteins, the nanoparticles are monodispersed in darkness but rapidly assemble into large aggregates upon blue‐light exposure. The work establishes a new modality for reaction control in macromolecular chemistry and thus augurs enhanced precision in space and time in diverse applications of gold nanoparticles.
14.

Efficient photoactivatable Dre recombinase for cell type-specific spatiotemporal control of genome engineering in the mouse.

blue red CRY2/CIB1 Magnets PhyB/PIF3 VVD HEK293T HeLa HEp-2 mouse in vivo SH-SY5Y Nucleic acid editing
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 14 Dec 2020 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2003991117 Link to full text
Abstract: Precise genetic engineering in specific cell types within an intact organism is intriguing yet challenging, especially in a spatiotemporal manner without the interference caused by chemical inducers. Here we engineered a photoactivatable Dre recombinase based on the identification of an optimal split site and demonstrated that it efficiently regulated transgene expression in mouse tissues spatiotemporally upon blue light illumination. Moreover, through a double-floxed inverted open reading frame strategy, we developed a Cre-activated light-inducible Dre (CALID) system. Taking advantage of well-defined cell-type-specific promoters or a well-established Cre transgenic mouse strain, we demonstrated that the CALID system was able to activate endogenous reporter expression for either bulk or sparse labeling of CaMKIIα-positive excitatory neurons and parvalbumin interneurons in the brain. This flexible and tunable system could be a powerful tool for the dissection and modulation of developmental and genetic complexity in a wide range of biological systems.
15.

Light-Regulated allosteric switch enables temporal and subcellular control of enzyme activity.

blue VVD HEK293T HeLa Signaling cascade control
Elife, 23 Sep 2020 DOI: 10.7554/elife.60647 Link to full text
Abstract: Engineered allosteric regulation of protein activity provides significant advantages for the development of robust and broadly applicable tools. However, the application of allosteric switches in optogenetics has been scarce and suffers from critical limitations. Here, we report an optogenetic approach that utilizes an engineered Light-Regulated (LightR) allosteric switch module to achieve tight spatiotemporal control of enzymatic activity. Using the tyrosine kinase Src as a model, we demonstrate efficient regulation of the kinase and identify temporally distinct signaling responses ranging from seconds to minutes. LightR-Src off-kinetics can be tuned by modulating the LightR photoconversion cycle. A fast cycling variant enables the stimulation of transient pulses and local regulation of activity in a selected region of a cell. The design of the LightR module ensures broad applicability of the tool, as we demonstrate by achieving light-mediated regulation of Abl and bRaf kinases as well as Cre recombinase.
16.

Spatiotemporal regulation of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation via upconversion optogenetic nanosystem.

blue VVD HEK293T HeLa MARC145 mouse in vivo
Nano Res, 14 Aug 2020 DOI: 10.1007/s12274-020-2998-z Link to full text
Abstract: Protein degradation technology, which is one of the most direct and effective ways to regulate the life activities of cells, is expected to be applied to the treatment of various diseases. However, current protein degradation technologies such as some small-molecule degraders which are unable to achieve spatiotemporal regulation, making them difficult to transform into clinical applications. In this article, an upconversion optogenetic nanosystem was designed to attain accurate regulation of protein degradation. This system worked via two interconnected parts: 1) the host cell expressed light-sensitive protein that could trigger the ubiquitinproteasome pathway upon blue-light exposure; 2) the light regulated light-sensitive protein by changing light conditions to achieve regulation of protein degradation. Experimental results based on model protein (Green Fluorescent Protein, GFP) validated that this system could fulfill protein degradation both in vitro (both Hela and 293T cells) and in vivo (by upconversion optogenetic nanosystem), and further demonstrated that we could reach spatiotemporal regulation by changing the illumination time (0–25 h) and the illumination frequency (the illuminating frequency of 0–30 s every 1 min). We further took another functional protein (The Nonstructural Protein 9, NSP9) into experiment. Results confirmed that the proliferation of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) was inhibited by degrading the NSP9 in this light-induced system, and PRRSV proliferation was affected by different light conditions (illumination time varies from 0–24 h). We expected this system could provide new perspectives into spatiotemporal regulation of protein degradation and help realize the clinical application transformation for treating diseases of protein degradation technology.
17.

Photoactivatable oncolytic adenovirus for optogenetic cancer therapy.

blue VVD A549 Hep G2 human IPSCs HUVEC mouse in vivo NCI-H1299
Cell Death Dis, 23 Jul 2020 DOI: 10.1038/s41419-020-02782-6 Link to full text
Abstract: Virotherapy using oncolytic adenovirus is an effective anticancer strategy. However, the tumor selectivity of oncolytic adenoviruses is not enough high. To develop oncolytic adenovirus with a low risk of off-tumor toxicity, we constructed a photoactivatable oncolytic adenovirus (paOAd). In response to blue light irradiation, the expression of adenoviral E1 genes, which are necessary for adenoviral replication, is induced and replication of this adenovirus occurs. In vitro, efficient lysis of various human cancer cell lines was observed by paOAd infection followed by blue light irradiation. Importantly, there was no off-tumor toxicity unless the cells were irradiated by blue light. In vivo, tumor growth in a subcutaneous tumor model and a mouse model of liver cancer was significantly inhibited by paOAd infection followed by blue light irradiation. In addition, paOAd also showed a therapeutic effect on cancer stem cells. These results suggest that paOAd is useful as a safe and therapeutically effective cancer therapy.
18.

Orthogonal Blue and Red Light Controlled Cell-Cell Adhesions Enable Sorting-out in Multicellular Structures.

blue red Cph1 VVD MDA-MB-231 Control of cell-cell / cell-material interactions Extracellular optogenetics
ACS Synth Biol, 16 Jul 2020 DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.0c00150 Link to full text
Abstract: The self-assembly of different cell types into multicellular structures and their organization into spatiotemporally controlled patterns are both challenging and extremely powerful to understand how cells function within tissues and for bottom-up tissue engineering. Here, we not only independently control the self-assembly of two cell types into multicellular architectures with blue and red light, but also achieve their self-sorting into distinct assemblies. This required developing two cell types that form selective and homophilic cell-cell interactions either under blue or red light using photoswitchable proteins as artificial adhesion molecules. The interactions were individually triggerable with different colors of light, reversible in the dark, and provide noninvasive and temporal control over the cell-cell adhesions. In mixtures of the two cells, each cell type self-assembled independently upon orthogonal photoactivation, and cells sorted out into separate assemblies based on specific self-recognition. These self-sorted multicellular architectures provide us with a powerful tool for producing tissue-like structures from multiple cell types and investigate principles that govern them.
19.

Targeted cell ablation in zebrafish using optogenetic transcriptional control.

blue VVD zebrafish in vivo Transgene expression Cell death
Development, 17 Jun 2020 DOI: 10.1242/dev.183640 Link to full text
Abstract: Cell ablation is a powerful method for elucidating the contributions of individual cell populations to embryonic development and tissue regeneration. Targeted cell loss in whole organisms has been typically achieved through expression of a cytotoxic or prodrug-activating gene product in the cell type of interest. This approach depends on the availability of tissue-specific promoters, and it does not allow further spatial selectivity within the promoter-defined region(s). To address this limitation, we have used the light-inducible GAVPO transactivator in combination with two genetically encoded cell-ablation technologies: the nitroreductase/nitrofuran system and a cytotoxic variant of the M2 ion channel. Our studies establish ablative methods that provide the tissue specificity afforded by cis-regulatory elements and the conditionality of optogenetics. Our studies also demonstrate differences between the nitroreductase and M2 systems that influence their efficacies for specific applications. Using this integrative approach, we have ablated cells in zebrafish embryos with both spatial and temporal control.
20.

A Light-Inducible Strain for Genome-Wide Histone Turnover Profiling in Neurospora crassa.

blue VVD N. crassa Epigenetic modification
Genetics, 1 May 2020 DOI: 10.1534/genetics.120.303217 Link to full text
Abstract: In chromatin, nucleosomes are composed of about 146 base pairs of DNA wrapped around a histone octamer, and are highly dynamic structures subject to remodeling and exchange. Histone turnover has previously been implicated in various processes including regulation of chromatin accessibility, segregation of chromatin domains, and dilution of histone marks. Histones in different chromatin environments may turnover at different rates, possibly with functional consequences.Neurospora crassasports a chromatin environment that is more similar to that of higher eukaryotes than yeasts, which have been utilized in the past to explore histone exchange. We constructed a simple light-inducible system to profile histone exchange in N. crassaon a 3xFLAG-tagged histone H3 under the control of the rapidly inducible vvdpromoter. After induction with blue light, incorporation of tagged H3 into chromatin occurred within 20 minutes. Previous studies of histone turnover involved considerably longer incubation periods and relied on a potentially disruptive change of medium for induction. We used this reporter to explore replication-independent histone turnover at genes and examine changes in histone turnover at heterochromatin domains in different heterochromatin mutant strains. In euchromatin, H3-3xFLAG patterns were almost indistinguishable from that observed in wild type in all mutant backgrounds tested, suggesting that loss of heterochromatin machinery has little effect on histone turnover in euchromatin. However, turnover at heterochromatin domains increased with loss of H3K9me3 or HP1, but did not depend on DNA methylation. Our reporter strain provides a simple yet powerful tool to assess histone exchange across multiple chromatin contexts.
21.

A combination of LightOn gene expression system and tumor microenvironment-responsive nanoparticle delivery system for targeted breast cancer therapy.

blue VVD 4T1 mouse in vivo Transgene expression Cell death
Acta Pharm Sin B, 27 Apr 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.apsb.2020.04.010 Link to full text
Abstract: A light-switchable transgene system called LightOn gene expression system could regulate gene expression with a high on/off ratio under blue light, and have great potential for spatiotemporally controllable gene expression. We developed a nanoparticle drug delivery system (NDDS) to achieve tumor microenvironment-responsive and targeted delivery of diphtheria toxin A (DTA) fragment-encoded plasmids to tumor sites. The expression of DTA was induced by exposure to blue light. Nanoparticles composed of polyethylenimine and vitamin E succinate linked by a disulfide bond, and PEGylated hyaluronic acid modified with RGD peptide, accumulated in tumor tissues and were actively internalized into 4T1 cells via dual targeting to CD44 and αvβ3 receptors. The LightOn gene expression system was able to control target protein expression through regulation of the intensity or duration of blue light exposure. In vitro studies showed that light-induced DTA expression reduced 4T1 cell viability and induced apoptosis. Furthermore, the LightOn gene expression system enabled spatiotemporal control of the expression of DTA in a mouse 4T1 tumor xenograft model, which resulted in excellent antitumor effects, reduced tumor angiogenesis, and no systemic toxicity. The combination of the LightOn gene expression system and NDDS may be an effective strategy for treatment of breast cancer.
22.

An optimized toolbox for the optogenetic control of intracellular transport.

blue iLID VVD Cos-7 HeLa U-2 OS Control of cytoskeleton / cell motility / cell shape
J Cell Biol, 6 Apr 2020 DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201907149 Link to full text
Abstract: Cellular functioning relies on active transport of organelles by molecular motors. To explore how intracellular organelle distributions affect cellular functions, several optogenetic approaches enable organelle repositioning through light-inducible recruitment of motors to specific organelles. Nonetheless, robust application of these methods in cellular populations without side effects has remained challenging. Here, we introduce an improved toolbox for optogenetic control of intracellular transport that optimizes cellular responsiveness and limits adverse effects. To improve dynamic range, we employed improved optogenetic heterodimerization modules and engineered a photosensitive kinesin-3, which is activated upon blue light-sensitive homodimerization. This opto-kinesin prevented motor activation before experimental onset, limited dark-state activation, and improved responsiveness. In addition, we adopted moss kinesin-14 for efficient retrograde transport with minimal adverse effects on endogenous transport. Using this optimized toolbox, we demonstrate robust reversible repositioning of (endogenously tagged) organelles within cellular populations. More robust control over organelle motility will aid in dissecting spatial cell biology and transport-related diseases.
23.

RecV recombinase system for in vivo targeted optogenomic modifications of single cells or cell populations.

blue VVD HEK293T mouse in vivo zebrafish in vivo Nucleic acid editing
Nat Methods, 23 Mar 2020 DOI: 10.1038/s41592-020-0774-3 Link to full text
Abstract: Brain circuits comprise vast numbers of interconnected neurons with diverse molecular, anatomical and physiological properties. To allow targeting of individual neurons for structural and functional studies, we created light-inducible site-specific DNA recombinases based on Cre, Dre and Flp (RecVs). RecVs can induce genomic modifications by one-photon or two-photon light induction in vivo. They can produce targeted, sparse and strong labeling of individual neurons by modifying multiple loci within mouse and zebrafish genomes. In combination with other genetic strategies, they allow intersectional targeting of different neuronal classes. In the mouse cortex they enable sparse labeling and whole-brain morphological reconstructions of individual neurons. Furthermore, these enzymes allow single-cell two-photon targeted genetic modifications and can be used in combination with functional optical indicators with minimal interference. In summary, RecVs enable spatiotemporally precise optogenomic modifications that can facilitate detailed single-cell analysis of neural circuits by linking genetic identity, morphology, connectivity and function.
24.

Light-Inducible Recombinases for Bacterial Optogenetics.

blue Magnets VVD E. coli Nucleic acid editing
ACS Synth Biol, 21 Jan 2020 DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.9b00395 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetic tools can provide direct and programmable control of gene expression. Light-inducible recombinases, in particular, offer a powerful method for achieving precise spatiotemporal control of DNA modification. However, to-date this technology has been largely limited to eukaryotic systems. Here, we develop optogenetic recombinases for Escherichia coli that activate in response to blue light. Our approach uses a split recombinase coupled with photodimers, where blue light brings the split protein together to form a functional recombinase. We tested both Cre and Flp recombinases, Vivid and Magnet photodimers, and alternative protein split sites in our analysis. The optimal configuration, Opto-Cre-Vvd, exhibits strong blue light-responsive excision and low ambient light sensitivity. For this system we characterize the effect of light intensity and the temporal dynamics of light-induced recombination. These tools expand the microbial optogenetic toolbox, offering the potential for precise control of DNA excision with light-inducible recombinases in bacteria.
25.

Coupling delay controls synchronized oscillation in the segmentation clock.

blue VVD C2C12
Nature, 8 Jan 2020 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1882-z Link to full text
Abstract: Individual cellular activities fluctuate but are constantly coordinated at the population level via cell-cell coupling. A notable example is the somite segmentation clock, in which the expression of clock genes (such as Hes7) oscillates in synchrony between the cells that comprise the presomitic mesoderm (PSM)1,2. This synchronization depends on the Notch signalling pathway; inhibiting this pathway desynchronizes oscillations, leading to somite fusion3-7. However, how Notch signalling regulates the synchronicity of HES7 oscillations is unknown. Here we establish a live-imaging system using a new fluorescent reporter (Achilles), which we fuse with HES7 to monitor synchronous oscillations in HES7 expression in the mouse PSM at a single-cell resolution. Wild-type cells can rapidly correct for phase fluctuations in HES7 oscillations, whereas the absence of the Notch modulator gene lunatic fringe (Lfng) leads to a loss of synchrony between PSM cells. Furthermore, HES7 oscillations are severely dampened in individual cells of Lfng-null PSM. However, when Lfng-null PSM cells were completely dissociated, the amplitude and periodicity of HES7 oscillations were almost normal, which suggests that LFNG is involved mostly in cell-cell coupling. Mixed cultures of control and Lfng-null PSM cells, and an optogenetic Notch signalling reporter assay, revealed that LFNG delays the signal-sending process of intercellular Notch signalling transmission. These results-together with mathematical modelling-raised the possibility that Lfng-null PSM cells shorten the coupling delay, thereby approaching a condition known as the oscillation or amplitude death of coupled oscillators8. Indeed, a small compound that lengthens the coupling delay partially rescues the amplitude and synchrony of HES7 oscillations in Lfng-null PSM cells. Our study reveals a delay control mechanism of the oscillatory networks involved in somite segmentation, and indicates that intercellular coupling with the correct delay is essential for synchronized oscillation.
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