A guide to the optogenetic regulation of endogenous molecules

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Genetically encoded tools for the regulation of endogenous molecules (RNA, DNA elements and protein) are needed to study and control biological processes with minimal interference caused by protein overexpression and overactivation of signaling pathways. Here we focus on light-controlled optogenetic tools (OTs) that allow spatiotemporally precise regulation of gene expression and protein function. To control endogenous molecules, OTs combine light-sensing modules from natural photoreceptors with specific protein or nucleic acid binders. We discuss OT designs and group OTs according to the principles of their regulation. We outline characteristics of OT performance, discuss considerations for their use in vivo and review available OTs and their applications in cells and in vivo. Finally, we provide a brief outlook on the development of OTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1027-1037
Number of pages11
JournalNature Methods
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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