A calcium- A nd light-gated switch to induce gene expression in activated neurons

Dongmin Lee, Jung Ho Hyun, Kanghoon Jung, Patrick Hannan, Hyungbae Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite recent advances in optogenetics, it remains challenging to manipulate gene expression in specific populations of neurons. We present a dual-protein switch system, Cal-Light, that translates neuronal-activity-mediated calcium signaling into gene expression in a light-dependent manner. In cultured neurons and brain slices, we show that Cal-Light drives expression of the reporter EGFP with high spatiotemporal resolution only in the presence of both blue light and calcium. Delivery of the Cal-Light components to the motor cortex of mice by viral vectors labels a subset of excitatory and inhibitory neurons related to learned lever-pressing behavior. By using Cal-Light to drive expression of the inhibitory receptor halorhodopsin (eNpHR), which responds to yellow light, we temporarily inhibit the lever-pressing behavior, confirming that the labeled neurons mediate the behavior. Thus, Cal-Light enables dissection of neural circuits underlying complex mammalian behaviors with high spatiotemporal precision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)858-863
Number of pages6
JournalNature biotechnology
Volume35
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Gene expression
Neurons
Calcium
Switches
Gene Expression
Light
Halorhodopsins
Optogenetics
Calcium Signaling
Dissection
Motor Cortex
Labels
Brain
Proteins
Networks (circuits)
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering

Cite this

A calcium- A nd light-gated switch to induce gene expression in activated neurons. / Lee, Dongmin; Hyun, Jung Ho; Jung, Kanghoon; Hannan, Patrick; Kwon, Hyungbae.

In: Nature biotechnology, Vol. 35, No. 9, 01.09.2017, p. 858-863.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lee, Dongmin ; Hyun, Jung Ho ; Jung, Kanghoon ; Hannan, Patrick ; Kwon, Hyungbae. / A calcium- A nd light-gated switch to induce gene expression in activated neurons. In: Nature biotechnology. 2017 ; Vol. 35, No. 9. pp. 858-863.
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