Light can be used as an accurate method to control gene expression, shows groundbreaking optogenetics study by University of Colorado, Duke University and University of Helsinki researchers.
Optogenetics utilizes methods where light can be used to control cellular functions. In contrast to traditional methods, optogenetic methods allow more temporally and spatially accurate way to control cells. In brain research, these tools have been used successfully to regulate individual nerve cells in millisecond time scale using light instead of electrical stimulus.
Optogenetic methods and tools have evolved fast, and in addition to be able to control cellular activity, researchers can now control the activity of gene function. In the study published in Nucleic Acids Research, the researchers were able to induce and inhibit the expression of genes in mammalian cell cultures and were able to regulate intracellular protein levels using light signals. The approach was also used to regulate gene transcription at endogenous genomic sites when combined with CRISPR/Cas9 technology.
“The research carried out in zebrafish unit of the University of Helsinki showed that in addition to cell cultures, these optogenetic tools worked also in living tissues”, says Academy Research Fellow Jari Rossi.
The field has many medical applications, and it is possible that optogenetics may be applied in the future to treat human illnesses. First clinical studies are undergoing to restore vision in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.
“Although the medical applications utilizing light regulated gene expression are in the distant future, the first applications will be probably found among life science basic research areas which are in the need of accurate control of gene function” Dr. Rossi says. “I am myself interested in using these tools for example in neuroscience and diabetes research.”
On the other hand, the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals still rely on using old technologies. “The pharmaceutical and bioindustry might benefit from using these more up-to-date methods, which can be used to control pharmaceutical production processes in cell factories more accurately and efficiently”, Dr. Rossi states.
The Latest on: Light controls gene expression
- Non-invasive characterization of human bone marrow stimulation and reconstitution by cell-free messenger RNA sequencingon January 21, 2020 at 3:29 am
Our results shed light on the biology of the circulating transcriptome and highlight ... Unsupervised clustering of transcripts detected in plasma cf-mRNA of MM and AML patients identified temporal ...
- High-throughput identification of protein functional similarities using a gene-expression-based siRNA screenon January 21, 2020 at 3:26 am
The eight panels of eight beads/reporters were hybridized to lysates from either control or KSR1 depleted cells, the values were normalized to the geometric mean of PPIB and HPRT, and the ratio of ...
- New mechanisms describe how the genome regulates itselfon January 16, 2020 at 5:14 am
Like a dimmer light switch, each gene can be turned on (expressed ... 2019.11.012 Maria Ninova et al. The SUMO Ligase Su(var)2-10 Controls Hetero- and Euchromatic Gene Expression via Establishing H3K9 ...
- Light-Activated Dynamic Looping Triggers Gene Expressionon July 26, 2019 at 1:02 pm
“It is critical to understand the genome structure-function relationship on short timescales because the spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression ... the use of light will allow us to target ...
- Controlling Gene Expression with Lighton April 23, 2019 at 3:36 pm
If there was an easy way to turn genes on and off, scientists would be able to develop therapies for many different diseases that are caused by aberrant gene expression. There are many different ...
via Google News and Bing News