Technological progress has enabled the successful application of functional conversion to a variety of biological molecules, such as nucleotides and proteins. Such studies have revealed the functionally essential elements of these engineered molecules, which are difficult to characterize at the level of an individual molecule. The functional conversion of biological molecules has also provided a strategy for their rational and atomistic design. The engineered molecules can be used in studies to improve our understanding of their biological functions and to develop protein-based tools. In this review, we introduce the functional conversion of membrane-embedded photoreceptive retinylidene proteins (also called rhodopsins) and discuss these proteins mainly on the basis of results obtained from our own studies. This information provides insights into the molecular mechanism of light-induced protein functions and their use in optogenetics, a technology which involves the use of light to control biological activities.
Biophysical Reviews – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 25, 2017
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