Optical Electrophysiology with Microbial Rhodopsins

Adam Cohen
Harvard University


Abstract: In the wild, microbial rhodopsin proteins convert sunlight into biochemical signals in their host organisms.  Some microbial rhodopsins convert sunlight into changes in membrane voltage.  We engineered a microbial rhodopsin to run in reverse: to convert changes in membrane voltage into fluorescence signals that are readily detected in a microscope.  Archaerhodopsin-derived voltage-indicating proteins enable optical mapping of bioelectric phenomena with unprecedented speed and sensitivity.  I will describe applications in primary and hiPSC-derived cultured neurons, and in transgenic zebrafish and mice.

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