Reversible and Tunable Photoswitching of Protein Function through Genetic Encoding of Azobenzene Amino Acids in Mammalian Cells

Ji Luo, Subhas Samanta, Marino Convertino, Nikolay V. Dokholyan, Alexander Deiters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The genetic encoding of three different azobenzene phenylalanines with different photochemical properties was achieved in human cells by using an engineered pyrrolysyl tRNA/tRNA synthetase pair. In order to demonstrate reversible light control of protein function, azobenzenes were site-specifically introduced into firefly luciferase. Computational strategies were applied to guide the selection of potential photoswitchable sites that lead to a reversibly controlled luciferase enzyme. In addition, the new azobenzene analogues provide enhanced thermal stability, high photoconversion, and responsiveness to visible light. These small-molecule photoswitches can reversibly photocontrol protein function with excellent spatiotemporal resolution, and preferred sites for incorporation can be computationally determined, thus providing a new tool for investigating biological processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2178-2185
Number of pages8
JournalChemBioChem
Volume19
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 18 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry

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