Multi-Layered Control of Cellular Processes

  • ChemPubSoc Europe Logo
  • Author: Angewandte Chemie International Edition
  • Published Date: 24 August 2018
  • Source / Publisher: Angewandte Chemie International Edition/Wiley-VCH
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
thumbnail image: Multi-Layered Control of Cellular Processes

How proteins or organelles move through a living cell plays a crucial role in controlling various cellular processes and in the development of diseases. Chemically induced dimerization is a tool to modulate protein function by bringing two proteins close together. Such approaches have been successfully used to study relatively simple cellular processes. However, the analysis of complex processes that involve the cycling, trafficking, or shuttling of signal molecules or organelles between different cell compartments remains a major challenge and could benefit from a more fine-grained activity control.

Yaowen Wu, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, Germany, and colleagues have developed a method termed "Multi-directional Activity Control" (MAC) using a photoactivatable, dual-chemically induced dimerization (pdCID) system. The approach combines different dimerizers that connect light-induced and chemically induced dimerization reactions. The dimerizer systems are composed of, e.g., an SLF*‐TMP (S*T) dimerizer and a NvocTMP‐Cl photocaged dimerizer (pictured below).

With previously available systems, the activity of a protein of interest (POI) could just be turned on or off using dimerization with other proteins. The developed MAC approach, in contrast, allows multiple layers of control over protein activity (pictured above).


The researchers used this approach to control the positioning of organelles and proteins at multiple locations in a single cell. They achieved multiple cycles of shuttling the protein Rac1 among the cytosol, plasma membrane, and nucleus in a single cell. They were also able to control the transport of peroxisomes (a cellular organelle involved in oxidization of molecules) in two directions, that is, to the cell periphery and then back to the cell body.

"These new tools are useful for studying how proteins or organelles mutually affect their local subcellular environment, and for emulating or interfering with disease conditions to study their mechanisms", the researchers state.


Article Views: 865

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

Bookmark and Share

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from, please contact us first for permission. more

CONNECT: on Facebook on Twitter on YouTube on LinkedIn Sign up for our free newsletter

A product of ChemPubSoc Europe (16 European Chemical Societies)and Wiley-VCH