Runtime: 60 minutes
A Pioneer, Lee Che Ma - Channelrhodopsin - Netflix
Channelrhodopsins are a subfamily of retinylidene proteins (rhodopsins) that function as light-gated ion channels. They serve as sensory photoreceptors in unicellular green algae, controlling phototaxis: movement in response to light. Expressed in cells of other organisms, they enable light to control electrical excitability, intracellular acidity, calcium influx, and other cellular processes. Channelrhodopsin-1 (ChR1) and Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) from the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii are the first discovered channelrhodopsins. Variants have been cloned from other algal species, and more are expected.
A Pioneer, Lee Che Ma - Designer-channelrhodopsins - Netflix
Channelrhodopsins are key tools in optogenetics. The C-terminal end of Channelrhodopsin-2 extends into the intracellular space and can be replaced by fluorescent proteins without affecting channel function. This kind of fusion construct can be useful to visualize the morphology of ChR2 expressing cells. Point mutations close to the retinal binding pocket have been shown to affect the biophysical properties of the channelrhodopsin, resulting in a variety of different tools.
A Pioneer, Lee Che Ma - References - Netflix