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Trends Biotechnol. 2015 Feb;33(2):92-100. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2014.11.007. Epub 2014 Dec 17.

Optogenetic control of intracellular signaling pathways.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA. Electronic address: kaizkaiz@illinois.edu.
2
Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address: bcui@stanford.edu.

Abstract

Cells employ a plethora of signaling pathways to make their life-and-death decisions. Extensive genetic, biochemical, and physiological studies have led to the accumulation of knowledge about signaling components and their interactions within signaling networks. These conventional approaches, although useful, lack the ability to control the spatial and temporal aspects of signaling processes. The recently emerged optogenetic tools open exciting opportunities by enabling signaling regulation with superior temporal and spatial resolution, easy delivery, rapid reversibility, fewer off-target side effects, and the ability to dissect complex signaling networks. Here we review recent achievements in using light to control intracellular signaling pathways and discuss future prospects for the field, including integration of new genetic approaches into optogenetics.

KEYWORDS:

Dronpa; LOV; UVR8; cryptochrome; intracellular signaling pathways; light-induced protein–protein interaction; oligomerization; optogenetics; photoactivatable proteins; phytochrome; signal transduction

PMID:
25529484
PMCID:
PMC4308517
DOI:
10.1016/j.tibtech.2014.11.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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