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OptoBiology

Light-activatable protein functions


We develop light-gated protein-protein interaction systems to control the activation and inactivation of intracellular signaling pathways. The ability to control signaling pathways by light offers unprecedented precision in temporal and spatial dimensions. Specifically, we are developing light-activatable molecular motors, light-activatable receptor tyrosine kinases, and light-activatable ERK and AKT signaling pathways.


Selected Publications

- Hope JM, Liu A, Calvin GJ, Cui B.
Construction of Light-Activated Neurotrophin Receptors Using the Improved Light-Induced Dimerizer (iLID)
J Mol Bio 432, 3739-3748 (2020). [Link]

- Huang P, Liu A, Song Y, Hope JM, Cui B, Duan L.
Optical Activation of TrkB Signaling
J Mol Bio 432, 3761-3770 (2020). [Link]

- Jones IV T, Liu A, Cui B.
Light-Inducible Generation of Membrane Curvature in Live Cells with Engineered BAR Domain Proteins
ACS Syn Bio 9, 893-901 (2020). [Link]

- Duan L, Hope JM, Guo S, Ong Q, Fran├žois A, Kaplan L, Scherrer G, Cui B,
Optical Activation of TrkA Signaling
ACS Synthetic biology 7, 1685-1693 (2018). [Link]

- Duan L, Hope J, Ong Q, Lou HY, Kim N, McCarthy C, Acero V, Lin MZ, Cui B,
Understanding CRY2 interactions for optical control of intracellular signaling
Nature Communications 8, 547 (2017). [Link]

- Ong Q, Guo S, Duan L, Zhang K, Collier EA, Cui B,
The timings of Raf/ERK and AKT activation in protecting PC12 cells against oxidative stress,
PLOS ONE, 11, e0153487, (2016). [Link]

- Duan L, Che DL, Zhang K, Ong Q, Guo S, Cui B,
Optogenetic control of molecular motors and organelle distributions in cells,
Chemistry & Biology, 22, 671-682 (2015). [Link]

- Zhang K, and Cui B,
Optogenetic control of intracellular signaling pathways,
Trends in Biotechnology, 33, 92-100 (2015). [Link]

- Zhang K, Duan L, Ong Q, Lin Z, Verman PM, Sung K, Cui B,
Light-mediated kinetic control reveals the temporal effect of the Raf/MEK/ERK pathway in PC12 cell neurite outgrowth,
PLOS ONE, 9, e92917 (2014). [Link]