The protein was engineered by researchers at RIKEN to help analyze rapid electrical signals in populations of nerve cells and provides a unique window onto cellular-dynamics of neuronal webs. Further work with this protein is expected to dramatically extend the scope of research into brain function.
One of the key challenges in analyzing neural network dynamics is to monitor the activity of multiple neurons simultaneously. Voltage-sensitive fluorescent proteins (VSFP) make such analysis possible by encoding voltage sensors at the genetic level, enabling researchers to non-invasively target and visualize the activity of specific cell populations. VSFPs have, until now, suffered from interference with tissue background fluorescence and poor long-term expression in nerve cells.
A new series of red-shifted VSFPs, designed by a research team at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, has overcome these limitations. By fusing the voltage-sensitive domain of a voltage-sensing phosphatase (Ci-VSP) to red-shifted fluorescent proteins, the researchers generated a series of VSFPs emitting different spectral colors. In a paper in the journal Chemistry & Biology, the researchers use these proteins to uncover details of the voltage-sensing mechanism in Ci-VSP, while also demonstrating the effectiveness of one variant (VSFP3.1_mOrange2) for analysis of electrical signals in hippocampal neurons.
The glimpse of the cellular-level dynamics of neuronal networks provided by VSFPs will vastly expand our understanding of information processing in the brain. By extending and clarifying the mechanisms of existing VSFPs, the new family of red-shifted proteins brings this potential one step closer to reality, enabling groundbreaking advances in understanding brain function.Images associated with this press release are available on this link http://www.researchsea.com/html/article.php/aid/4828/cid/3/research/
For more information, please contact:Dr. Thomas Knöpfel
Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'
16.03.2018 | Emory Health Sciences
Scientists map the portal to the cell's nucleus
16.03.2018 | Rockefeller University
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.
Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
08.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.03.2018 | Life Sciences