[ExI] Optogenetics for transcription and epigenetics

Max More max at maxmore.com
Sat Aug 24 08:38:45 UTC 2013

To paraphrase:

All your base pairs are belong to us.


On Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

>  This is pretty nifty: optical control of gene expression and epigenetics
> in nerve cells. Like optogenetics, but allowing primed cells to be
> transformed by laser.
> http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html
> Optical control of mammalian endogenous transcription and epigenetic states
> The dynamic nature of gene expression enables cellular programming,
> homeostasis and environmental adaptation in living systems. Dissection of
> causal gene functions in cellular and organismal processes therefore
> necessitates approaches that enable spatially and temporally precise
> modulation of gene expression. Recently, a variety of microbial and
> plant-derived light-sensitive proteins have been engineered as optogenetic
> actuators, enabling high-precision spatiotemporal control of many cellular
> functions1<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref1>,
> 2<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref2>,
> 3<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref3>,
> 4<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref4>,
> 5<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref5>,
> 6<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref6>,
> 7<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref7>,
> 8<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref8>,
> 9<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref9>,
> 10<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref10>,
> 11<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref11>.
> However, versatile and robust technologies that enable optical modulation
> of transcription in the mammalian endogenous genome remain elusive. Here we
> describe the development of light-inducible transcriptional effectors
> (LITEs), an optogenetic two-hybrid system integrating the customizable TALE
> DNA-binding domain12<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref12>,
> 13<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref13>,
> 14<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref14>with the light-sensitive cryptochrome 2 protein and its interacting partner
> CIB1 from *Arabidopsis thaliana*. LITEs do not require additional
> exogenous chemical cofactors, are easily customized to target many
> endogenous genomic loci, and can be activated within minutes with
> reversibility6<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref6>,
> 15<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vnfv/ncurrent/full/nature12466.html#ref15>.
> LITEs can be packaged into viral vectors and genetically targeted to probe
> specific cell populations. We have applied this system in primary mouse
> neurons, as well as in the brain of freely behaving mice *in vivo* to
> mediate reversible modulation of mammalian endogenous gene expression as
> well as targeted epigenetic chromatin modifications. The LITE system
> establishes a novel mode of optogenetic control of endogenous cellular
> processes and enables direct testing of the causal roles of genetic and
> epigenetic regulation in normal biological processes and disease states.
> --
> Anders Sandberg,
> Future of Humanity Institute
> Oxford Martin School
> Faculty of Philosophy
> Oxford University
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Max More, PhD
Strategic Philosopher
Co-editor, *The Transhumanist Reader*
President & CEO, Alcor Life Extension Foundation
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