Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.


Issue 27, 2017
Previous Article Next Article

Targeted and efficient activation of channelrhodopsins expressed in living cells via specifically-bound upconversion nanoparticles

Author affiliations

Abstract

Optogenetics is an innovative technology now widely adopted by researchers in different fields of biological sciences. However, most light-sensitive proteins adopted in optogenetics are excited by ultraviolet or visible light which has a weak tissue penetration capability. Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs), which absorb near-infrared (NIR) light to emit shorter wavelength light, can help address this issue. In this report, we demonstrated the target selectivity by specifically conjugating the UCNPs with channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2). We tagged the V5 epitope to the extracellular N-terminal of ChR2 (V5-ChR2m) and functionalized the surface of UCNPs with NeutrAvidin (NAv-UCNPs). After the binding of the biotinylated antibody against V5 onto the V5-ChR2m expressed in the plasma membrane of live HEK293T cells, our results showed that the NAv-UCNPs were specifically bound to the membrane of cells expressing V5-ChR2m. Without the V5 epitope or NAv modification, no binding of UCNPs onto the cell membrane was observed. For the cells expressing V5-ChR2m and bound with NAv-UCNPs, both 488 nm illumination and the upconverted blue emission from UCNPs by 980 nm excitation induced an inward current and elevated the intracellular Ca2+ concentration. Our design reduces the distance between UCNPs and light-sensitive proteins to the molecular level, which not only minimizes the NIR energy required but also provides a way to guide the specific binding for optogenetics applications.

Graphical abstract: Targeted and efficient activation of channelrhodopsins expressed in living cells via specifically-bound upconversion nanoparticles

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
08 May 2017
Accepted
04 Jun 2017
First published
07 Jun 2017

Nanoscale, 2017,9, 9457-9466
Article type
Paper

Targeted and efficient activation of channelrhodopsins expressed in living cells via specifically-bound upconversion nanoparticles

K. Yadav, A. Chou, R. K. Ulaganathan, H. Gao, H. Lee, C. Pan and Y. Chen, Nanoscale, 2017, 9, 9457
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR03246C

Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements