The channelrhodopsin-ChR2 is a light-sensitive transmembrane protein that acts as a selective ion channel between the intra- and the extra-cellular environments. In the last decade, ChR2 has proven to be essential for optogenetics, because, if expressed in mammalian neural cells, it enables the control of neuronal activity in response to visible light. Mid-infrared difference spectroscopy can probe the functional conformational changes of light-sensitive proteins, however intrinsic limitations of standard IR spectroscopy in terms of diffraction, and therefore number of probed proteins, require that the mid-IR experiments be performed on huge numbers of lipid membrane patches with overexpressed proteins. In this work, we apply for the first time IR difference nanospectroscopy, based on the use of mid-IR lasers and an atomic force microscope (AFM), to single membrane patches containing ChR2, obtaining relevant spectroscopy results for optogenetic applications and, more generally, for future experimental studies of light-sensitive proteins at the nanoscale.

Infrared nanospectroscopy study of the light-induced conformational changes of Channelrhodopsin

Temperini, Maria Eleonora;Polito, Raffaella;Intze, Antonia;Schade, Ulrich;Baldassarre, Leonetta;Ortolani, Michele;Giliberti, Valeria
2021

Abstract

The channelrhodopsin-ChR2 is a light-sensitive transmembrane protein that acts as a selective ion channel between the intra- and the extra-cellular environments. In the last decade, ChR2 has proven to be essential for optogenetics, because, if expressed in mammalian neural cells, it enables the control of neuronal activity in response to visible light. Mid-infrared difference spectroscopy can probe the functional conformational changes of light-sensitive proteins, however intrinsic limitations of standard IR spectroscopy in terms of diffraction, and therefore number of probed proteins, require that the mid-IR experiments be performed on huge numbers of lipid membrane patches with overexpressed proteins. In this work, we apply for the first time IR difference nanospectroscopy, based on the use of mid-IR lasers and an atomic force microscope (AFM), to single membrane patches containing ChR2, obtaining relevant spectroscopy results for optogenetic applications and, more generally, for future experimental studies of light-sensitive proteins at the nanoscale.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1657462
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