With the progress of optogenetics, the activities of genetically identified neurons can be optically silenced to determine whether the neurons in question are necessary for the network performance of the behavioral expression. This logical induction is expected to be improved by the application of the Na+ pump rhodopsins (NaRs), which hyperpolarize the membrane potential with negligible influence on the ionic/pH balance. Here, we made several chimeric NaRs between two NaRs, KR2 and IaNaR from Krokinobacter eikastus and Indibacter alkaliphilus, respectively. We found that one of these chimeras, named I1K6NaR, exhibited some improvements in the membrane targeting and photocurrent properties over native NaRs. The I1K6NaR-expressing cortical neurons were stably silenced by green light irradiation for a certain long duration. With its rapid kinetics and voltage dependency, the photoactivation of I1K6NaR would specifically counteract the generation of action potentials with less hyperpolarization of the neuronal membrane potential than KR2.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)