The promise of optogenetics in cell biology: interrogating molecular circuits in space and time

Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and the Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.
Nature Methods (Impact Factor: 25.95). 01/2011; 8(1):35-8. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.f.326
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Optogenetic modules offer cell biologists unprecedented new ways to poke and prod cells. The combination of these precision perturbative tools with observational tools, such as fluorescent proteins, may dramatically accelerate our ability to understand the inner workings of the cell.

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    ABSTRACT: Signals recorded at the cell membrane are meaningful indicators of the physiological vs. pathological state of a cell and will become useful diagnostic elements in nanomedicine. In this project we present a coherent strategy for the design and fabrication of a bio-nano-sensor that monitors changes in intracellular cell calcium concentration and allows an easy read out by converting the calcium signal into an electrical current in the range of microampere that can be easily measured by conventional cell electrophysiology apparatus.
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    Dataset: PLoSOne2013
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    ABSTRACT: Protein localization plays a central role in cell biology. Although powerful tools exist to assay the spatial and temporal dynamics of proteins in living cells, our ability to control these dynamics has been much more limited. We previously used the phytochrome B– phytochrome-interacting factor light-gated dimerization system to recruit proteins to the plasma membrane, enabling us to control the activation of intracellular signals in mammalian cells. Here we extend this approach to achieve rapid, reversible, and titratable control of protein localization for eight different organelles/positions in budding yeast. By tagging genes at the endogenous locus, we can recruit proteins to or away from their normal sites of action. This system provides a general strategy for dynamically activating or inactivating proteins of interest by controlling their localization and therefore their availability to binding partners and substrates, as we demonstrate for galactose signaling. More importantly, the temporal and spatial precision of the system make it possible to identify when and where a given protein's activity is necessary for function, as we demonstrate for the mitotic cyclin Clb2 in nuclear fission and spindle stabilization. Our light-inducible organelle-targeting system represents a powerful approach for achieving a better understanding of complex biological systems.
    Molecular Biology of the Cell 07/2013; 24(15):2419-2430. DOI:10.1091/mbc.E13-03-0126 · 4.55 Impact Factor

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