Optogenetic tool can control protein functions in living cells

June 19, 2014
Researchers in South Korea have developed an optogenetic-based technology that can control specific protein functions in living cells by using light—work that may have implications in future cancer cell research.

Researchers at the Institute for Basic Science's (IBS; Yuseong District, Daejeon, South Korea) Bio-imaging Research Group have developed an optogenetic-based technology that can control specific protein functions in living cells by using light—work that may have implications in future cancer cell research.

Related: Optogenetics tools address a growing range of applications

The technology, which the research team calls Light-Activated Reversible Inhibition by Assembled Trap (LARIAT), involves exposing cells to visible blue light from LED lamps, thereby forming protein clusters within the cells and allowing the target proteins trapped inside to inactivate protein functions.

Related: Blue light prompts protein clustering and, in turn, advances optogenetics

The research group, led by Won Do Heo, both a group leader from the Center for Cognition and Sociality and a professor at the College of Life Science and Bioengineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), has found that this technology allows scientists to inactivate critical biological phenomena, including cell migration and cell division, by using only lights, and without the assistance of chemical drug treatments or genetic modification. The whole process can be managed by simply changing the lighting to which the cell is exposed.

Prof. Won Do Heo

The researchers are hoping that this technology, which could make it possible to cease cell division, can be applied in future cancer cell and signal transduction research.

“We are already conducting research on the spread of cancer, as well as brain science in animal models with the LARIAT,” Prof. Heo says. “I believe this technology will be a breakthrough in investigating cancer treatments and the function of neurons in a complex neural network, which existing technologies have not been able to do.”

Full details of the work appear in the journal Nature Methods; for more information, please visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.2940.

-----

Don't miss Strategies in Biophotonics, a conference and exhibition dedicated to development and commercialization of bio-optics and biophotonics technologies!

Follow us on Twitter, 'like' us on Facebook, and join our group on LinkedIn

Subscribe now to BioOptics World magazine; it's free!

About the Author

BioOptics World Editors

We edited the content of this article, which was contributed by outside sources, to fit our style and substance requirements. (Editor’s Note: BioOptics World has folded as a brand and is now part of Laser Focus World, effective in 2022.)

Sponsored Recommendations

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.

How to Tune Servo Systems: The Basics

April 10, 2024
Learn how to tune a servo system using frequency-based tools to meet system specifications by watching our webinar!

Motion Scan and Data Collection Methods for Electro-Optic System Testing

April 10, 2024
Learn how different scanning patterns and approaches can be used in measuring an electro-optic sensor performance, by reading our whitepaper here!

How Precision Motion Systems are Shaping the Future of Semiconductor Manufacturing

March 28, 2024
This article highlights the pivotal role precision motion systems play in supporting the latest semiconductor manufacturing trends.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!