Summary
Channelrhodopsins are a subfamily of retinylidene proteins (rhodopsins) that function as light-gated ion channels. They serve as sensory photoreceptors in unicellular green algae, controlling phototaxis: movement in response to light. Expressed in cells of other organisms, they enable light to control electrical excitability, intracellular acidity, calcium influx, and other cellular processes (see optogenetics). Channelrhodopsin-1 (ChR1) and Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) from the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii are the first discovered channelrhodopsins. Variants that are sensitive to different colors of light or selective for specific ions (ACRs, KCRs) have been cloned from other species of algae and protists. Phototaxis and photoorientation of microalgae have been studied over more than hundred years in many laboratories worldwide. In 1980, Ken Foster developed the first consistent theory about the functionality of algal eyes. He also analyzed published action spectra and complemented blind cells with retinal and retinal analogues, which led to the conclusion that the photoreceptor for motility responses in Chlorophyceae is rhodopsin. Photocurrents of the Chlorophyceae Heamatococcus pluvialis and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii were studied over many years in the groups of Oleg Sineshchekov and Peter Hegemann. Based on action spectroscopy and simultaneous recordings of photocurrents and flagellar beating, it was determined that the photoreceptor currents and subsequent flagellar movements are mediated by rhodopsin and control phototaxis and photophobic responses. The extremely fast rise of the photoreceptor current after a brief light flash led to the conclusion that the rhodopsin and the channel are intimately linked in a protein complex, or even within one single protein. The name "channelrhodopsin" was coined to highlight this unusual property, and the sequences were renamed accordingly. The nucleotide sequences of the rhodopsins now called channelrhodopsins ChR1 and ChR2 were finally uncovered in a large-scale EST sequencing project in C.
About this result
This page is automatically generated and may contain information that is not correct, complete, up-to-date, or relevant to your search query. The same applies to every other page on this website. Please make sure to verify the information with EPFL's official sources.
Related publications

Loading

Related people

Loading

Related units

Loading

Related concepts

Loading

Related courses

Loading

Related lectures

Loading

Related MOOCs

Loading