Optogenetic engineering to probe the molecular choreography of STIM1-mediated cell signaling. Academic Article uri icon


  • Genetically encoded photoswitches have enabled spatial and temporal control of cellular events to achieve tailored functions in living cells, but their applications to probe the structure-function relations of signaling proteins are still underexplored. We illustrate herein the incorporation of various blue light-responsive photoreceptors into modular domains of the stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) to manipulate protein activity and faithfully recapitulate STIM1-mediated signaling events. Capitalizing on these optogenetic tools, we identify the molecular determinants required to mediate protein oligomerization, intramolecular conformational switch, and protein-target interactions. In parallel, we have applied these synthetic devices to enable light-inducible gating of calcium channels, conformational switch, dynamic protein-microtubule interactions and assembly of membrane contact sites in a reversible manner. Our optogenetic engineering approach can be broadly applied to aid the mechanistic dissection of cell signaling, as well as non-invasive interrogation of physiological processes with high precision.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

altmetric score

  • 6.2

author list (cited authors)

  • Ma, G., He, L., Liu, S., Xie, J., Huang, Z., Jing, J. i., ... Zhou, Y.

citation count

  • 41

complete list of authors

  • Ma, Guolin||He, Lian||Liu, Shuzhong||Xie, Jiansheng||Huang, Zixian||Jing, Ji||Lee, Yi-Tsang||Wang, Rui||Luo, Hesheng||Han, Weidong||Huang, Yun||Zhou, Yubin

publication date

  • January 2020