Optogenetic technologies are providing novel opportunities to interface cells with their environment and to steer this interaction with unmatched spatial and temporal resolution, in a dose-dependent and multiplexed manner.
We will present ongoing work on interfacing cells with optical cues along the signal transduction chain, from extracellular materials via signaling cascades to the control of gene expression. Control of gene expression can be modulated by inducing liquid-liquid phase separation of transcription factors at the promoter site. We demonstrate how this approach can be used to increase transcriptional activation in mammalian cells and mice.
We will further describe the engineering of adeno-associated viral vectors (AAVs) to transduce primary cells and cell lines in a light dependent manner. To this aim, we replace the natural tropism of AAVs with an optically guided tropism. These optoAAVs enable the repeated transduction of cell lawns with different transgenes in a spatially controlled manner or the selective transduction of cells at single cell resolution.