Optogenetics for transcriptional programming and genetic engineering. Academic Article uri icon


  • Optogenetics combines genetics and biophotonics to enable noninvasive control of biological processes with high spatiotemporal precision. When engineered into protein machineries that govern the cellular information flow as depicted in the central dogma, multiple genetically encoded non-opsin photosensory modules have been harnessed to modulate gene transcription, DNA or RNA modifications, DNA recombination, and genome engineering by utilizing photons emitting in the wide range of 200-1000 nm. We present herein generally applicable modular strategies for optogenetic engineering and highlight latest advances in the broad applications of opsin-free optogenetics to program transcriptional outputs and precisely manipulate the mammalian genome, epigenome, and epitranscriptome. We also discuss current challenges and future trends in opsin-free optogenetics, which has been rapidly evolving to meet the growing needs in synthetic biology and genetics research.

published proceedings

  • Trends Genet

altmetric score

  • 13.93

author list (cited authors)

  • Lan, T., He, L., Huang, Y., & Zhou, Y.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Lan, Tien-Hung||He, Lian||Huang, Yun||Zhou, Yubin

publication date

  • December 2022