eCite Digital Repository

A userís guide to channelrhodopsin variants: features, limitations and future developments


Lin, J, A user's guide to channelrhodopsin variants: features, limitations and future developments, Experimental Physiology, 96, (1) pp. 19-25. ISSN 0958-0670 (2010) [Substantial Review]

PDF (A review article published in Experimental Physiology)
Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy

DOI: doi:10.1113/expphysiol.2009.051961


Channelrhodopsins (ChRs) are light-activated channels from algae that provide these organisms with fast sensors to visible light for phototaxis. Since its discovery, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) has been used as a research tool to depolarize membranes of excitable cells with light. Subsequent chimeragenesis, mutagenesis and bioinformatic approaches have introduced additional ChR variants, such as channelrhodopsin-2 with H134R mutation (ChR2/H134R), channelrhodopsin- 2 with E123T mutation (ChETA), Volvox carteri channelrhodopsin-1 (VChR1), Volvox carteri channelrhodopsin-2 (VChR2), channelrhodopsin-2 with C128 or D156A mutations (ChR2/C128X/D156A), chimera D (ChD), chimera EF (ChEF) and chimera EF with I170V mutation (I170V). Each of these ChR variuants has unique features and limitations, but there are few resources summarizing and comparing these ChRs in a systematic manner. In this review, the seven following key properties of ChRs that have significant influences on their effectiveness as research tools are examined: conductance, selectivity, kinetics, desensitization, light sensitivity, spectral response and membrane trafficking. Using this information, valuable qualities and deficits of each ChR variant are summarized. Optimal uses and potential future improvements of ChRs as optogenetic tools are also discussed.

Item Details

Item Type:Substantial Review
Keywords:Optogenetics, neuroscience
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Medical biotechnology
Research Field:Medical molecular engineering of nucleic acids and proteins
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Lin, J (Dr John Lin)
ID Code:97390
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:203
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2014-12-15
Last Modified:2014-12-15

Repository Staff Only: item control page