Flash! An optogenetics approach to reinforcing memory through modulating Ca2+

Written by Courtney Johnson

A novel hybrid protein, engineered by researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and the Institute for Basic Science (both Daejeon, South Korea), has exhibited effective modulation of Ca2+ levels through regulation of Ca2+ -selective endogenous Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ channels (CRACs). The hybrid protein resulted in both qualitative and quantitative control of intracellular Ca2+ levels in a variety of biological systems, including human stem cells and memory-forming cells in mice. The results were published recently in Nature Biotechnology. Ca2+ is involved in a wide range of essential cellular processes such as excitation, contraction, growth, differentiation and apoptosis....

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