Channelrhodopsin-1 and 2 (ChR1 and ChR2) form cation channels that are gated by light through an unknown mechanism. We tested the DC-gate hypothesis that C167 and D195 are involved in the stabilization of the cation-permeable state of ChRWR/C1C2 which consists of TM1-5 of ChR1 and TM6-7 of ChR2 and ChRFR which consists of TM1-2 of ChR1 and TM3-7 of ChR2. The cation permeable state of each ChRWR and ChRFR was markedly prolonged in the order of several tens of seconds when either C167 or D195 position was mutated to alanine (A). Therefore, the DC-gate function was conserved among these chimeric ChRs. We next investigated the kinetic properties of the ON/OFF response of these bi-stable ChR mutants as they are important in designing the photostimulation protocols for the optogenetic manipulation of neuronal activities. The turning-on rate constant of each photocurrent followed a linear relationship to 0-0.12 mWmm-2 of blue LED light or to 0-0.33 mWmm-2 of cyan LED light. Each photocurrent of bi-stable ChR was shut off to the non-conducting state by yellow or orange LED light in a manner dependent on the irradiance. As the magnitude of the photocurrent was mostly determined by the turning-on rate constant and the irradiation time, the minimal irradiance that effectively evoked an action potential (threshold irradiance) was decreased with time only if the neuron, which expresses bi-stable ChRs, has a certain large membrane time constant (eg. τm > 20 ms). On the other hand, in another group of neurons, the threshold irradiance was not dependent on the irradiation time. Based on these quantitative data, we would propose that these bi-stable ChRs would be most suitable for enhancing the intrinsic activity of excitatory pyramidal neurons at a minimal magnitude of irradiance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)