While chemical tools that allow control of protein activities and interactions have been in use for a number of decades, a recently emerging field centers on the use of light for protein control, allowing spatial, temporal and dose-dependent control of an expanding repertoire of biological activities. Recently, we and others developed tools based on light stimulated photoreceptor protein interactions, termed ‘optical dimerizers.’ These genetically-encoded tools are derived from natural photoreceptor protein interactions that are regulated by light, and can be used to conditionally regulate the activity of target proteins. Here we demonstrate use of the blue light-induced CRY/CIB dimerizers, as well as other engineered light-responsive domains, to control protein localization and activity in living cells with light.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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