Fluorescent tagging for light-based control of cell biology. Powerful tools. #cellbiology
Original Post from Gerd Moe-Behrens:
"Scientists reverse engineer fluorescent proteins for light-mediated control.
Optogenetics is a young discipline that is coming on strong in fields such as neuroscience and protein signaling. It refers to the use of light-sensitive proteins to control cellular processes in living cells and organisms. Optogenetic tools can also be used to sense biological processes. Each of these applications has been performed with separate protein tools?until now.
Michael Lin, at Stanford University, and his colleagues have adapted a fluorescent protein (FP) to act as a light switch for controlling protein interactions, creating a protein tool that can both mediate biological function and report its own activity.
?If we could get fluorescent proteins to work as light-controlled switches, they would come with distinct advantages,? says Lin about the reasons for embarking on the project. One such advantage is that FPs have built-in chromophores and thus do not rely on an exogenous chromophore supply as many light-controlled systems do. FPs are also relatively easy to engineer, and a nice color selection is available to choose from...."