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Title: Identification of cyanobacteriochromes detecting far-red light

The opacity of mammalian tissue to visible light and the strong attenuation of infrared light by water at ≥900 nm have contributed to growing interest in the development of far-red and near-infrared absorbing tools for visualizing and actuating responses within live cells. Here we report the discovery of cyanobacteriochromes (CBCRs) responsive to light in this far-red window. CBCRs are linear tetrapyrrole (bilin)-based light sensors distantly related to plant phytochrome sensors. Our studies reveal far-red (λ max = 725–755 nm)/orange (λ max = 590–600 nm) and far-red/red (λ max = 615–685 nm) photoswitches that are small (<200 amino acids) and can be genetically reconstituted in living cells. Phylogenetic analysis and characterization of additional CBCRs demonstrated that far-red/orange CBCRs evolved after a complex transition from green/red CBCRs known for regulating complementary chromatic acclimation. Incorporation of different bilin chromophores demonstrated that tuning mechanisms responsible for red-shifted chromophore absorption act at the A-, B-, and/ or C-rings, whereas photoisomerization occurs at the D-ring. Two such proteins exhibited detectable fluorescence extending well into the near-infrared region. In conclusion, this work extends the spectral window of CBCRs to the edge of the infrared, raising the possibility of using CBCRs in synthetic biology applications in the far-redmore » region of the spectrum.« less
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  1. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
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Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 55; Journal Issue: 28; Journal ID: ISSN 0006-2960
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States