Optoribogenetics: Exploiting the Photoreceptor-Aptamer Interaction to Control Numerous RNA Functions

Georg Pietruschka1, Christian Renzl1, Anna Maria Weber1, Sebastian Pilsl1, Jennifer Kaiser1, Andreas Möglich1, Günter Mayer1

1 University of Bonn, Life and Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES)

Cytosolic photoreceptor proteins enable the light-dependent control of a variety of organismal processes such as behavior and physiology. Recently, the expression and the characterization of the bacterial light-oxygen-voltage (LOV) photoreceptor protein PAL facilitated the selection of a short hairpin RNA binding specifically the light state of the photoreceptor. This light-driven aptamer-PAL complex can be exploited for spatio-temporal control of cellular processes such as transcription, translation, mRNA stability, and mRNA processing. The following results represent the conjunction of RNA biology with optogenetics by opening the way for the previously inaccessible optoribogenetic modalities to regulate core processes in a light-dependent manner.