Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 79, 2013
Previous Article Next Article

Synthesis of phycocyanobilin in mammalian cells

Author affiliations


The chromophore 3-Z phycocyanobilin (PCB, (2R,3Z)-8,12-bis(2-carboxyethyl)-18-ethyl-3-ethylidene-2,7,13,17-tetramethyl-2,3-dihydrobilin-1,19(21H,24H)-dione) mediates red and far-red light perception in natural and synthetic biological systems. Here we describe a PCB synthesis strategy in mammalian cells. We optimize the production by co-localizing the biocatalysts to the substrate source, by coordinating the availability of the biocatalysts and by reducing the degradation of the reaction product. We show that the resulting PCB levels of 2 μM are sufficient to sustain the functionality of red light-responsive optogenetic tools suitable for the light-inducible control of gene expression in mammalian cells.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis of phycocyanobilin in mammalian cells

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 05 Jul 2013, accepted on 31 Jul 2013 and first published on 31 Jul 2013

Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C3CC45065A
Citation: Chem. Commun., 2013,49, 8970-8972
  •   Request permissions

    Synthesis of phycocyanobilin in mammalian cells

    K. Müller, R. Engesser, J. Timmer, F. Nagy, M. D. Zurbriggen and W. Weber, Chem. Commun., 2013, 49, 8970
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CC45065A

Search articles by author