Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2006 Oct;16(5):585-92. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

Manipulating proteins for neuroscience.

Author information

The Jack H. Skirball Center for Chemical Biology and Proteomics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037-1099 USA.


The design and manipulation of proteins has created many tools that have become popular in neurobiological studies, and new developments in protein science will be the fuel for future research. Genetically encoded protein-based biosensors have been developed with a wider range of sensing moieties, enabling detection of changes in localized protein synthesis, voltage, glutamate and/or glucose levels. Existing sensors, such as cameleon, have been modified and improved. Heterologous expression of Channelrhodopsin-2 and other light-gated methods for controlling cellular polarization enable action potentials to be non-invasively evoked, facilitating the study and modulation of behavior in intact animals. Finally, new methods in protein manipulation, including the site-specific incorporation of unnatural amino acids in vivo and the directed evolution of proteins, show promise in elucidating neural function with greater precision and flexibility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center