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      NEUROSCIENCE. Natural light-gated anion channels: A family of microbial rhodopsins for advanced optogenetics.

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          Abstract

          Light-gated rhodopsin cation channels from chlorophyte algae have transformed neuroscience research through their use as membrane-depolarizing optogenetic tools for targeted photoactivation of neuron firing. Photosuppression of neuronal action potentials has been limited by the lack of equally efficient tools for membrane hyperpolarization. We describe anion channel rhodopsins (ACRs), a family of light-gated anion channels from cryptophyte algae that provide highly sensitive and efficient membrane hyperpolarization and neuronal silencing through light-gated chloride conduction. ACRs strictly conducted anions, completely excluding protons and larger cations, and hyperpolarized the membrane of cultured animal cells with much faster kinetics at less than one-thousandth of the light intensity required by the most efficient currently available optogenetic proteins. Natural ACRs provide optogenetic inhibition tools with unprecedented light sensitivity and temporal precision.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Science
          Science (New York, N.Y.)
          1095-9203
          0036-8075
          Aug 7 2015
          : 349
          : 6248
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Center for Membrane Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
          [2 ] Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
          Article
          science.aaa7484 NIHMS759987
          10.1126/science.aaa7484
          26113638
          8c96d047-52f3-487d-853e-eac675319d3e
          Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
          History

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