Navigation Links
New optogenetic tool for controlling neuronal signalling by blue light

Institute for Basic Science (IBS), the main organization of the International Science and Business Belt project in South Korea, has announced that a group of researchers, led by professor Won Do Heo, have developed a new technology in the field of optogenetics that can remotely control specific receptors by light. They have named this new technology "OptoTrk" and it has succeeded with neuronal differentiation inducement.

The most significant feature of OptoTrk technology is that it requires only light to activate neuronal functions without the need of other substances. The receptors are activated when exposed to blue light, and then induce both neuronal growth and differentiation by upregulating downstream cell signalling.

"We are now conducting neuroscience research on several mouse models using our OptoTrk technology," says professor Won Do Heo, who led the research. "This newly developed technology will play a ground-breaking role in investigating the functions of neurons in the brain, specifically those functions in the most complicated of neural networks, which existing technologies have limitations exploring."

Before the development of this new technology, natural ligands or agonists were widely used as tools to specifically control receptor activity. However, they did not allow spatiotemporal control, and so required a time period to bind with the receptor. Therefore, there were limits to understanding the dynamic nature of intracellular signalling networks. To address these limitations, the researchers developed this new technology using optogenetics. Recently optogenetics is attracting attention from many, various fields in the biological sciences. This study applies light-sensitive proteins - found in microorganisms and plants - to human (and/or animal) cells and can manipulate several cell functions.

"We have found that optoTrk can be regulated by simply switching light on and off," says professor Won Do Heo. "We were able to control the functional duration of down-stream signalling by adjusting the frequency of blue-light illumination."

Professor Won Do Heo added that he plans to publish an additional paper related to source technology in another renowned journal by the end of June. This will bring the Professor's number of published research outcomes related to the study of optogenetics to a total of 3 in the last two months. These publications include the paper regarding "Light-Activated Reversible Inhibition by Assembled Trap (LARIAT)". This paper on LARIAT was published in May in the prominent science journal, Nature Method, in the field of biochemistry.


Contact: Hanbin Oh
Institute for Basic Science

Related biology news :

1. Optogenetic toolkit goes multicolor
2. EUREKA grant to fund development of new optogenetic technique for mapping neural networks at UMMS
3. Oxfords Gero Miesenböck is awarded The Brain Prize 2013 for his pioneering work on optogenetics
4. Zülch Prize 2012 for founders of optogenetics
5. Controlling contamination in open algae ponds for biofuels
6. LSTM researchers identify the complex mechanisms controlling changes in snake venom
7. Chemists design molecules for controlling bacterial behavior
8. Controlling brain waves to improve vision
9. Characterization of stink bug saliva proteins opens door to controlling pests
10. Controlling parasitic worms with genetic selection
11. Oregon scientists offer new insights on controlling nanoparticle stability
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based ... clinical research, is pleased to announce that it has ... as one of only three finalists for a ... and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... technology innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a ... that it has released a new version of its ... in North America have already ... v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF certified server ... already preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers include ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, ... driving the explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and ... new book, The Internet of Healthy Things ... sensors or smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, ... of health care delivery, moving care from the hospital ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE ... has adopted a stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) in ... operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 of the ... --> PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs could ... change" as defined in Section 382 of the Code. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- Studies reveal the differences in species ... the way for more effective treatment for one of the ... --> --> Gum disease ... cats, yet relatively little was understood about the bacteria associated ... conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... , President and CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be ... in New York . ... the website approximately 5 minutes prior to the presentation ... of the presentation will be available on the website ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of ... team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn ...
Breaking Biology Technology: