Red-shifted optogenetic excitation: a tool for fast neural control derived from Volvox carteri

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Abstract

The introduction of two microbial opsin–based tools, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and halorhodopsin (NpHR), to neuroscience has generated interest in fast, multimodal, cell type–specific neural circuit control. Here we describe a cation-conducting channelrhodopsin (VChR1) from Volvox carteri that can drive spiking at 589 nm, with excitation maximum red-shifted 70 nm compared with ChR2. These results demonstrate fast photostimulation with yellow light, thereby defining a functionally distinct third category of microbial rhodopsin proteins.

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Figure 1: Identification and characterization of VChR1.
Figure 2: VChR1 permits red-shifted neural photostimulation.
Figure 3: Separable channels of optogenetic excitation.

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Acknowledgements

F.Z. is supported by the US National Institutes of Health, F.B. by the Erasmus Program and O.Y. by the European Molecular Biology Organization. K.D. is supported by the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and the Snyder, Coulter, McKnight and Albert Yu Foundations, as well as by the US National Science Foundation and US National Institutes of Health. P.H. is supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

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Correspondence to Peter Hegemann or Karl Deisseroth.

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