Optochemical control of mRNA translation in eukaryotes

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2023 Mar 17;e202301778. doi: 10.1002/anie.202301778. Online ahead of print.


A major stage in the expression of genes is the translation of messenger RNA (mRNA), and the regulation of this process is essential for protein production in cells. How tightly controlled gene expression can be spatially and temporally, is particularly evident in polar cells and embryonic development. We need tools to dissect these complex processes, if we wish to understand the underlying links, especially the difficulties brought on by malfunction. External bioorthogonal triggers are very helpful in this area, if they let us precisely control where and when a process is started. Equipping nucleic acids with light-responsive groups has proven to be an effective approach to examine the dynamic regulatory route of mRNA translation in living cells. In this review, we present an overview of the most recent methods for optochemically controlling translation, focusing on cis-acting technologies.

Keywords: optochemical; optoribogenetics; post-transcription; regulation; translation.