Journal Club #4 : Photoactivatable transcription

30 01 2009

Many organisms regulate gene transcription via sunlight.  In plants, phototaxis, flowering and germination all are light dependent processes. Circadian rhythms in many species is entrained by light. Light-activated transcription is achieved through a variety of mechanisms.  Some of these mechanisms may be usable as a powerful tool to control gene expression in selected cells with high spatial and temporal resolution. When paired with other optical tools, such as genetically-encoded calcium indicators or channelrhodopsins, this technique would give unprecedented specificity in recording and manipulating brain activity. In this journal club, I review two major systems for photoactivateable transcription and their prospects for application in mammalian systems.



3 responses

8 05 2009
Infrared fluorescent proteins « Brain Windows

[…] involved in aerobic respiration (and similar in structure to the phytocyanobilins discussed in our Photoactivated Transcription journal club post). Biliverdin is non-fluorescent in solution, but when bound to IFP, it is rigidized and becomes […]

14 07 2009
Photoactivated Transcription Revisted « Brain Windows

[…] field of photoactivated transcription.  Unlike the fully genetically-encoded systems reviewed in a Journal Club, this uses a hybrid genetic and small molecule approach. In Doxycycline-dependent photoactivated […]

16 09 2009
Light-switchable protein interactions « Brain Windows

[…] protein interactions 16 09 2009 A fully genetically-encoded approach to light-activated transcription is getting closer now that a generalizable method of light-switchable protein interactions has been […]

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