Optogenetic Control of Endoplasmic Reticulum-Mitochondria Tethering

ACS Synth Biol. 2018 Jan 19;7(1):2-9. doi: 10.1021/acssynbio.7b00248. Epub 2017 Dec 4.


The organelle interface emerges as a dynamic platform for a variety of biological responses. However, their study has been limited by the lack of tools to manipulate their occurrence in live cells spatiotemporally. Here, we report the development of a genetically encoded light-inducible tethering (LIT) system allowing the induction of contacts between endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria, taking advantage of a pair of light-dependent heterodimerization called an iLID system. We demonstrate that the iLID-based LIT approach enables control of ER-mitochondria tethering with high spatiotemporal precision in various cell types including primary neurons, which will facilitate the functional study of ER-mitochondrial contacts.

Keywords: electron microscopy; endoplasmic reticulum; fluorescence microscopy; iLID system; light-inducible tethering (LIT) system; mitochondria; optogenetics.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dimerization
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / ultrastructure
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / radiation effects
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Optogenetics