Optogenetic Control of Mammalian Ion Channels with Chemical Photoswitches
Methods in molecular biology, March 2016
Damien Lemoine, Romain Durand-de Cuttoli, Alexandre Mourot
In neurons, ligand-gated ion channels decode the chemical signal of neurotransmitters into an electric response, resulting in a transient excitation or inhibition. Neurotransmitters act on multiple receptor types and subtypes, with spatially and temporally precise patterns. Hence, understanding the neural function of a given receptor requires methods for its targeted, rapid activation/inactivation in defined brain regions. To address this, we have developed a versatile optochemical genetic strategy, which allows the reversible control of defined receptor subtypes in designated cell types, with millisecond and micrometer precision. In this chapter, we describe the engineering of light-activated and -inhibited neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, as well as their characterization and use in cultured cells.
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