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Reverse optogenetics of G protein signaling by zebrafish non-visual opsin Opn7b for synchronization of neuronal networks

Nature Communications

Authors: Raziye Karapinar, Jan Claudius Schwitalla, Dennis Eickelbeck, Johanna Pakusch, Brix Mücher, Michelle Grömmke, Tatjana Surdin, Thomas Knöpfel, Melanie D. Mark, Ida Siveke, Stefan Herlitze
Publication: Nature Communications
Date: July 23, 2021
Link to article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-24718-0


Opn7b is a non-visual G protein-coupled receptor expressed in zebrafish. Here we find that Opn7b expressed in HEK cells constitutively activates the Gi/o pathway and illumination with blue/green light inactivates G protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium channels. This suggests that light acts as an inverse agonist for Opn7b and can be used as an optogenetic tool to inhibit neuronal networks in the dark and interrupt constitutive inhibition in the light. Consistent with this prediction, illumination of recombinant expressed Opn7b in cortical pyramidal cells results in increased neuronal activity. In awake mice, light stimulation of Opn7b expressed in pyramidal cells of somatosensory cortex reliably induces generalized epileptiform activity within a short (<10 s) delay after onset of stimulation. Our study demonstrates a reversed mechanism for G protein-coupled receptor control and Opn7b as a tool for controlling neural circuit properties.

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