Research ResourceOptogenetics

The rhodopsin–guanylyl cyclase of the aquatic fungus Blastocladiella emersonii enables fast optical control of cGMP signaling

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Sci. Signal.  11 Aug 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 389, pp. rs8
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aab0611

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Lighting up cGMP signaling

The second messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) alters ion channel activity to mediate processes such as smooth muscle relaxation, transduction of light, and apoptosis. Guanylyl cyclases produce cGMP from GTP. Scheib et al. characterized the fungal photoreceptor RhGC, which consists of the light-sensitive receptor rhodopsin connected to a guanylyl cyclase. When expressed in mammalian cells, including neurons, light stimulated RhGC to generate cGMP. Thus, RhGC is another tool in the optogenetic kit and can be used to study cGMP signaling.