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.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)
Download citations (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)
Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)
Mobile genetic elements (MGEs) are a rich source of new enzymes, and conversely, understanding the activities of MGE-encoded proteins can elucidate MGE function. Here, we biochemically characterize three proteins encoded by a conserved operon carried by the Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome (SCCmec), an MGE that confers methicillin resistance to Staphylococcus aureus, creating MRSA strains. The first of these proteins, CCPol, is an active A-family DNA polymerase. The middle protein, MP, binds tightly to CCPol and confers upon it the ability to synthesize DNA primers de novo. The CCPol-MP complex is therefore a unique primase-polymerase enzyme unrelated to either known primase family. The third protein, Cch2, is a 3’-to-5’ helicase. Cch2 additionally binds specifically to a dsDNA sequence downstream of its gene that is also a preferred initiation site for priming by CCPol-MP. Taken together, our results suggest that this is a functional replication module for SCCmec.
Bacterial contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) systems use a type Vb secretion mechanism to export large CdiA toxins across the outer membrane by dedicated outer membrane transporters called CdiB. Here we report the first crystal structures of two CdiB transporters from Acinetobacter baumannii and Escherichia coli. CdiB transporters adopt a TpsB fold, containing a 16-stranded transmembrane β-barrel connected to two periplasmic domains. The lumen of the CdiB pore is occluded by an N-terminal α-helix and the conserved extracellular loop 6; these two elements adopt different conformations in the structures. We identified a conserved DxxG motif located on strand β1 that connects loop 6 through different networks of interactions. Structural modifications of DxxG induce rearrangement of extracellular loops and alter interactions with the N-terminal α-helix, preparing the system for α-helix ejection. Using structural biology, functional assays, and molecular dynamics simulations, we show how the barrel pore is primed for CdiA toxin secretion.