Activation of protein splicing with light in yeast

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Spatiotemporal regulation of protein function is a key feature of living systems; experimental tools that provide such control are of great utility. Here we report a genetically encoded system for controlling a post-translational process, protein splicing, with light. Studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae demonstrate that fusion of a photodimerization system from Arabidopsis thaliana to an artificially split intein permits rapid activation of protein splicing to yield a new protein product.

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Figure 1: The light-activated protein splicing system.
Figure 2: Photodimerization of PhyB and PIF3 triggers the protein splicing reaction.
Figure 3: Photodimerization allows temporal control over protein trans-splicing.


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We thank P.H. Quail (University of California, Berkeley) for the gift of plasmids encoding PhyB and PIF3, and for providing the chromophore extraction protocol. We thank M.P. Rout (The Rockefeller University) for providing yeast expression plasmids pYEX-U and pYX242, for plasmid pbs-PrA, and S. cerevisiae strain w303α. This work was supported by US National Institutes of Health (grants EB001991 and GM072015).

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Correspondence to Tom W Muir.

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Supplementary Figures 1–5, Supplementary Tables 1–2, Supplementary Methods (PDF 279 kb)

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