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Aptamer Enabled Optical Manipulation for Subcellular Localization of Protein in Cells

By 18th March 2020No Comments

The following study was conducted by Scientists from State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Bio-Sensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Biology, Collaborative Innovation Center for Chemistry and Molecular Medicine, Hunan University, China; Institute of Cancer and Basic Medicine (IBMC), Chinese Academy of Sciences, The Cancer Hospital of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hangzhou, China; Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM), Renji Hospital, State Key Laboratory of Oncogenes and Related Genes, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, and College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China. Study is published in Nature Communications Journal as detailed below.

Nature Communications; Volume 11, Article Number: 1347; (2020)

Aptamer-Based Optical Manipulation of Protein Subcellular Localization in Cells


Protein-dominant cellular processes cannot be fully decoded without precise manipulation of their activity and localization in living cells. Advances in optogenetics have allowed spatiotemporal control over cellular proteins with molecular specificity; however, these methods require recombinant expression of fusion proteins, possibly leading to conflicting results. Instead of modifying proteins of interest, in this work, we focus on design of a tunable recognition unit and develop an aptamer-based near-infrared (NIR) light-responsive nanoplatform for manipulating the subcellular localization of specific proteins in their native states. Our results demonstrate that this nanoplatform allows photocontrol over the cytoplasmic-nuclear shuttling behavior of the target RelA protein (a member of the NF-κβ family), enabling regulation of RelA-related signaling pathways. With a modular design, this aptamer-based nanoplatform can be readily extended for the manipulation of different proteins (e.g., lysozyme and p53), holding great potential to develop a variety of label-free protein photoregulation strategies for studying complex biological events.


Nature Communications



Xie, S., Du, Y., Zhang, Y. et al. Aptamer-based optical manipulation of protein subcellular localization in cells. Nat Commun 11, 1347 (2020).