Fast manipulation of cellular cAMP level by light in vivo

Nat Methods. 2007 Jan;4(1):39-42. doi: 10.1038/nmeth975. Epub 2006 Nov 26.


The flagellate Euglena gracilis contains a photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC), consisting of the flavoproteins PACalpha and PACbeta. Here we report functional expression of PACs in Xenopus laevis oocytes, HEK293 cells and in Drosophila melanogaster, where neuronal expression yields light-induced changes in behavior. The activity of PACs is strongly and reversibly enhanced by blue light, providing a powerful tool for light-induced manipulation of cAMP in animal cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / genetics
  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism*
  • Adenylyl Cyclases / radiation effects*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cell Line
  • Cyclic AMP / analysis
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / radiation effects
  • Enzyme Activation / radiation effects
  • Euglena gracilis / enzymology
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Humans
  • Light*
  • Time Factors
  • Xenopus laevis


  • Cyclic AMP
  • Adenylyl Cyclases