The application of current channelrhodopsin-based optogenetic tools is limited by the lack of strict ion selectivity and the inability to extend the spectra sensitivity into the near-infrared (NIR) tissue transmissible range. Here we present an NIR-stimulable optogenetic platform (termed "Opto-CRAC") that selectively and remotely controls Ca2+ oscillations and Ca2+-responsive gene expression to regulate the function of non-excitable cells, including T lymphocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells. When coupled to upconversion nanoparticles, the optogenetic operation window is shifted from the visible range to NIR wavelengths to enable wireless photoactivation of Ca2+-dependent signaling and optogenetic modulation of immunoinflammatory responses. In a mouse model of melanoma by using ovalbumin as surrogate tumor antigen, Opto-CRAC has been shown to act as a genetically-encoded "photoactivatable adjuvant" to improve antigen-specific immune responses to specifically destruct tumor cells. Our study represents a solid step forward towards the goal of achieving remote control of Ca2+-modulated activities with tailored function.
Animal experimentation: Mice-related experiments were approved by Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees of Institute of Biosciences and Technology, Texas A&M University Health Science Center (#12044 and #2014-0228-IBT; Houston, TX, USA; Animal Welfare Assurance Number A3893-01) and University of Massachusetts Medical School (#A-2512-15, Worcester, MA, USA; Animal Welfare Assurance Number A3306-01).
- Richard Aldrich, The University of Texas at Austin, United States
© 2015, He et al.
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Akt is a Ser/Thr protein kinase that plays a central role in metabolism and cancer. Regulation of Akt's activity involves an autoinhibitory intramolecular interaction between its pleckstrin homology (PH) domain and its kinase domain that can be relieved by C-tail phosphorylation. PH domain mutant E17K Akt is a well-established oncogene. Previously, we reported that the conformation of autoinhibited Akt may be shifted by small molecule allosteric inhibitors limiting the mechanistic insights from existing X-ray structures that have relied on such compounds (Chu, Viennet, et al, 2020). Here we discover unexpectedly that a single mutation R86A Akt exhibits intensified autoinhibitory features with enhanced PH domain-kinase domain affinity. Structural and biochemical analysis uncovers the importance of a key interaction network involving Arg86, Glu17, and Tyr18 that controls Akt conformation and activity. Our studies also shed light on the molecular basis for E17K Akt activation as an oncogenic driver.
In eukaryotes, splice sites define the introns of pre-mRNAs and must be recognized and excised with nucleotide precision by the spliceosome to make the correct mRNA product. In one of the earliest steps of spliceosome assembly, the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) recognizes the 5' splice site (5' SS) through a combination of base pairing, protein-RNA contacts, and interactions with other splicing factors. Previous studies investigating the mechanisms of 5' SS recognition have largely been done in vivo or in cellular extracts where the U1/5' SS interaction is difficult to deconvolute from the effects of trans-acting factors or RNA structure. In this work we used co-localization single-molecule spectroscopy (CoSMoS) to elucidate the pathway of 5' SS selection by purified yeast U1 snRNP. We determined that U1 reversibly selects 5' SS in a sequence-dependent, two-step mechanism. A kinetic selection scheme enforces pairing at particular positions rather than overall duplex stability to achieve long-lived U1 binding. Our results provide a kinetic basis for how U1 may rapidly surveil nascent transcripts for 5' SS and preferentially accumulate at these sequences rather than on close cognates.