Structural basis for channel conduction in the pump-like channelrhodopsin ChRmine.
ChRmine, a recently discovered pump-like cation-conducting channelrhodopsin, exhibits puzzling properties (large photocurrents, red-shifted spectrum, and extreme light sensitivity) that have created new opportunities in optogenetics. ChRmine and its homologs function as ion channels but, by primary sequence, more closely resemble ion pump rhodopsins; mechanisms for passive channel conduction in this family have remained mysterious. Here, we present the 2.0A resolution cryo-EM structure of ChRmine, revealing architectural features atypical for channelrhodopsins: trimeric assembly, a short transmembrane-helix 3, a twisting extracellular-loop 1, large vestibules within the monomer, and an opening at the trimer interface. We applied this structure to design three proteins (rsChRmine and hsChRmine, conferring further red-shifted and high-speed properties, respectively, and frChRmine, combining faster and more red-shifted performance) suitable for fundamental neuroscience opportunities. These results illuminate the conduction and gating of pump-like channelrhodopsins and point the way toward further structure-guided creation of channelrhodopsins for applications across biology.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2022.01.007
View details for PubMedID 35114111
- Neuronal Dynamics Regulating Brain and Behavioral State Transitions CELL 2019; 177 (4): 970-+
Photopharmacologic Vision Restoration Reduces Pathological Rhythmic Field Potentials in Blind Mouse Retina.
2019; 9 (1): 13561
Photopharmacology has yielded compounds that have potential to restore impaired visual responses resulting from outer retinal degeneration diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa. Here we evaluate two photoswitchable azobenzene ion channel blockers, DAQ and DAA for vision restoration. DAQ exerts its effect primarily on RGCs, whereas DAA induces light-dependent spiking primarily through amacrine cell activation. Degeneration-induced local field potentials remain a major challenge common to all vision restoration approaches. These 5-10 Hz rhythmic potentials increase the background firing rate of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and overlay the stimulated response, thereby reducing signal-to-noise ratio. Along with the bipolar cell-selective photoswitch DAD and second-generation RGC-targeting photoswitch PhENAQ, we investigated the effects of DAA and DAQ on rhythmic local field potentials (LFPs) occurring in the degenerating retina. We found that photoswitches targeting neurons upstream of RGCs, DAA (amacrine cells) and DAD (bipolar cells) suppress the frequency of LFPs, while DAQ and PhENAQ (RGCs) had negligible effects on frequency or spectral power of LFPs. Taken together, these results demonstrate remarkable diversity of cell-type specificity of photoswitchable channel blockers in the retina and suggest that specific compounds may counter rhythmic LFPs to produce superior signal-to-noise characteristics in vision restoration.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-49999-w
View details for PubMedID 31537864