Optogenetics Comes of Age: Novel Inhibitory Light-Gated Anionic Channels Allow Efficient Silencing of Neural Function

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Abstract

© 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Optogenetics, the developing field of research that uses light-switchable biochemical tools in a sophisticated technological approach to monitor or control neural function, is rapidly evolving with the discovery and development of novel microbial rhodopsins. Light-absorbing membrane proteins, as tools for brain research, are promoting new applications within the discipline of optogenetics. Light-gated rhodopsin ion channels with better intrinsic light sensitivity and improved resolution are needed to overcome some of the current limitations of existing molecules. The recent discovery of light-gated inhibitory anion channels opens new opportunities for studying physiological neural processes and, at the same time, represent a powerful approach for elucidating the mechanisms of neurological and mental disorders that could benefit from this approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-206
JournalChemBioChem
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • brain function
  • light-activated ion channels
  • rhodopsins
  • signal transduction

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