Remote Optical Switch For Localized Control Of Gene Regulation And Protein Translation
Precise control of gene regulation and protein expression in living cells is in critical demand for studying cellular signaling pathways, quantitative cell biology, and systems biology. To advance such studies, nanoscale intracellular transmitter and receiver systems are required for the remote manipulation of biological systems. In addition, there is great complexity of modulators of gene expression, and more precise experimental control of gene regulation and protein translation could help to elucidate this discrepancy.
The primary goal of this research is to gain precise experimental control by developing a new optical remote control switch of gene and protein expression using a near infrared (NIR) laser transmitter. By using this remote optical switch, it is possible to gain highly precise temporal control of cellular activities. Nanoscale receivers are tuned to a specific NIR wavelength that is transparent to biological cells. Optically-active gold nanoparticles (GNP) are conjugated with oligonucleotides and introduced into cell line cultures. At desired times and at specific locations, oligonucleotides are released from their carriers. This technology can be used to perturb the expression of a single gene at a precise moment to study its effect on the entire system of genes and proteins.
Somin Eunice Lee, Gang Logan Liu, Franklin Kim and Luke P. Lee, "Remote Optical Switch for Localized and Selective Control of Gene Interference", Nano Letters (2009).