Natural and engineered photoactivated nucleotidyl cyclases for optogenetic applications Article

Ryu, MH, Moskvin, OV, Siltberg-Liberles, J et al. (2010). Natural and engineered photoactivated nucleotidyl cyclases for optogenetic applications . JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY, 285(53), 41501-41508. 10.1074/jbc.M110.177600

cited authors

  • Ryu, MH; Moskvin, OV; Siltberg-Liberles, J; Gomelsky, M


  • Cyclic nucleotides, cAMP and cGMP, are ubiquitous second messengers that regulate metabolic and behavioral responses in diverse organisms. We describe purification, engineering, and characterization of photoactivated nucleotidyl cyclases that can be used to manipulate cAMP and cGMP levels in vivo. We identified the blaC gene encoding a putative photoactivated adenylyl cyclase in the Beggiatoa sp. PS genome. BlaC contains a BLUF domain involved in blue-light sensing using FAD and a nucleotidyl cyclase domain. The blaC gene was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and its product was purified. Irradiation of BlaC in vitro resulted in a small red shift in flavin absorbance, typical of BLUF photoreceptors. BlaC had adenylyl cyclase activity that was negligible in the dark and upregulated by light by 2 orders of magnitude. To convert BlaC into a guanylyl cyclase, we constructed a model of the nucleotidyl cyclase domain and mutagenized several residues predicted to be involved in substrate binding. One triple mutant, designated BlgC, was found to have photoactivated guanylyl cyclase in vitro. Irradiation with blue light of the E. coli cya mutant expressing BlaC or BlgC resulted in the significant increases in cAMP or cGMP synthesis, respectively. BlaC, but not BlgC, restored cAMP-dependent growth of the mutant in the presence of light. Small protein sizes, negligible activities in the dark, high light-to-dark activation ratios, functionality at broad temperature range and physiological pH, as well as utilization of the naturally occurring flavins as chromophores make BlaC and BlgC attractive for optogenetic applications in various animal and microbial models. © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

publication date

  • December 31, 2010

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 41501

end page

  • 41508


  • 285


  • 53