Optochemical control of gene expression by photocaged guanine and riboswitches

Chem Commun (Camb). 2018 Jun 12;54(48):6181-6183. doi: 10.1039/c8cc02290a.


Optical control of biomolecules via engineered proteins or photoactive small molecules has had a profound impact on biology. However, optochemical tools to control RNA functions in living cells are relatively limited. We synthesized a photoactivatable (photocaged) guanine to modulate gene expression under riboswitch control in both mammalian cells and Escherichia coli by light.

MeSH terms

  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / radiation effects
  • Gene Expression / drug effects*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Guanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Guanine / radiation effects*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Riboswitch / genetics*
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Ligands
  • Riboswitch
  • enhanced green fluorescent protein
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Guanine