Following Optogenetic Dimerizers and Quantitative Prospects

Jacqueline Niu, Manu Ben Johny, Ivy E. Dick, Takanari Inoue

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Optogenetics describes the use of genetically encoded photosensitive proteins to direct intended biological processes with light in recombinant and native systems. While most of these light-responsive proteins were originally discovered in photosynthetic organisms, the past few decades have been punctuated by experiments that not only commandeer but also engineer and enhance these natural tools to explore a wide variety of physiological questions. In addition, the ability to tune dynamic range and kinetic rates of optogenetic actuators is a challenging question that is heavily explored with computational methods devised to facilitate optimization of these systems. Here, we explain the basic mechanisms of a few popular photodimerizing optogenetic systems, discuss applications, compare optogenetic tools against more traditional chemical methods, and propose a simple quantitative understanding of how actuators exert their influence on targeted processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1132-1140
Number of pages9
JournalBiophysical journal
Volume111
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 20 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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