Kazuhiro AOKI

Exploratory Research Center for Life and Living Systems, NINS
National Institute for Basic Biology, NINS

Optogenetic regulation of cellular functions by genetically encoded PhyB-PIF system

Several optogenetic tools have been developed in recent years, yet few systems are available that employ red light for photoactivation. Phytochrome B (PhyB)-Phytochrome interacting factor (PIF) is a unique system, in which PhyB binds to PIF under red light illumination, while PhyB-PIF complex dissociates upon infra-red light illumination. However, PhyB-PIF system requires phycocyanobilin, which is a chromophore of light harvesting in photosynthetic organisms, and therefore purification and addition of PCB are needed to render cells sensitive to red/infra-red light in this system. To overcome this issue, we succeeded efficient PCB biosynthesis in mammalian cells for developing a fully genetically encoded optogenetic system with red/infra-red light. In this study, we will attempt to manipulate intracellular signaling in space and time by red/infra-red light illumination, and further to control the behavior of C. elegans by regulating intracellular signaling with red/far-red light.