Optogenetics

Definition

Optogenetics is a method that uses light to modulate molecular events in a targeted manner in living cells or organisms. It relies on the use of genetically-encoded proteins that change conformation in the presence of light to alter cell behaviour, for example, by changing the membrane voltage potential of excitable cells.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    A steep gradient of Cdc42 is at the front of migrating cells, whereas the active Rac1 gradient is graded. Here the authors show that Cdc42 gradients follow the distribution of GEFs and govern direction of migration, while Rac1 gradients require the activity of the GAP β2-chimaerin and control cell speed.

    • S. de Beco
    • , K. Vaidžiulytė
    • , J. Manzi
    • , F. Dalier
    • , F. di Federico
    • , G. Cornilleau
    • , M. Dahan
    •  & M. Coppey
  • Research |

    A closed-loop all-optical strategy allows manipulation of neurons on the basis of their ongoing activity and can be used to clamp neuronal activity to a preset level, boost sensory-evoked activity or yoke together the activity of trigger and target neurons.

    • Zihui Zhang
    • , Lloyd E. Russell
    • , Adam M. Packer
    • , Oliver M. Gauld
    •  & Michael Häusser
    Nature Methods 15, 1037–1040
  • Research | | open

    Cellular ERK activation occurs as discrete pulses but their relationship to upstream Ras signaling is still under debate. Here, the authors show that Ras signaling associated with cellular protrusions triggers pulsed ERK activation, thereby enabling cells to integrate chemical and mechanical stimuli.

    • J.-Ming Yang
    • , Sayak Bhattacharya
    • , Hoku West-Foyle
    • , Chien-Fu Hung
    • , T.-C. Wu
    • , Pablo A. Iglesias
    •  & Chuan-Hsiang Huang
  • Research | | open

    Optogenetic tools enable precise experimental control of the behaviour of cells. Here, the authors introduce a genetically-encoded two-protein system that enables silencing of excitable cells such as neurons and cardiomyocytes using blue light, and demonstrate its utility both in vitro and In vivo.

    • Yinth Andrea Bernal Sierra
    • , Benjamin R. Rost
    • , Martin Pofahl
    • , António Miguel Fernandes
    • , Ramona A. Kopton
    • , Sylvain Moser
    • , Dominik Holtkamp
    • , Nicola Masala
    • , Prateep Beed
    • , John J. Tukker
    • , Silvia Oldani
    • , Wolfgang Bönigk
    • , Peter Kohl
    • , Herwig Baier
    • , Franziska Schneider-Warme
    • , Peter Hegemann
    • , Heinz Beck
    • , Reinhard Seifert
    •  & Dietmar Schmitz
  • Research |

    BLINK2 is a light-activated potassium channel for optogenetic inhibition of neuronal activity. Alberio et al. apply the tool in systems as diverse as cultured rat neurons, mouse brain slices, behaving zebrafish and a rat model of neuropathic pain.

    • Laura Alberio
    • , Andrea Locarno
    • , Andrea Saponaro
    • , Edoardo Romano
    • , Valérie Bercier
    • , Shahad Albadri
    • , Federica Simeoni
    • , Silvia Moleri
    • , Silvia Pelucchi
    • , Alessandro Porro
    • , Elena Marcello
    • , Noemi Barsotti
    • , Kerri Kukovetz
    • , Arjen J. Boender
    • , Andrea Contestabile
    • , Shizhen Luo
    • , Aubin Moutal
    • , Yingshi Ji
    • , Giulia Romani
    • , Monica Beltrame
    • , Filippo Del Bene
    • , Monica Di Luca
    • , Rajesh Khanna
    • , Henry M. Colecraft
    • , Massimo Pasqualetti
    • , Gerhard Thiel
    • , Raffaella Tonini
    •  & Anna Moroni
    Nature Methods 15, 969–976

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