Several methods for controlling gene expression by light illumination have been reported. Most of these methods control transcription by regulating the interaction between DNA and transcription factors. The use of a photolabile protecting compound (cage compound) is another promising approach for controlling gene expression, although typically in an irreversible manner. We here describe a new approach for reversibly controlling translation using a photoresponsive 8-styryl cap (8ST-cap) that can be reversibly isomerized by illumination with light of a specific wavelength.
Keywords: Cap structure; Photoisomerization; Translation; mRNA.