Send to

Choose Destination
Biochemistry. 2006 Dec 26;45(51):15129-41. Epub 2006 Dec 2.

Engineering light-gated ion channels.

Author information

Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Ion channels are gated by a variety of stimuli, including ligands, voltage, membrane tension, temperature, and even light. Natural gates can be altered and augmented using synthetic chemistry and molecular biology to develop channels with completely new functional properties. Light-sensitive channels are particularly attractive because optical manipulation offers a high degree of spatial and temporal control. Over the last few decades, several channels have been successfully rendered responsive to light, including the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, gramicidin A, a voltage-gated potassium channel, an ionotropic glutamate receptor, alpha-hemolysin, and a mechanosensitive channel. Very recently, naturally occurring light-gated cation channels have been discovered. This review covers the molecular principles that guide the engineering of light-gated ion channels for applications in biology and medicine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center