Photochemical regulation of calcium signaling in cardiac myocytes and neurons

6 AVRIL 2018 - 13H30

Graham Ellis-Davies, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (NY, USA)

Lieu: Auditorium C7 (barre Cassan, bât. C, 7e étage)


Light has been used for the study of living cells since their discovery in the C17th by Robert Hooke and Antonj van Leeuwenhoek. Thus, for the next 300 years light was only used for the passive observation of cellular life. Starting in the 1960 new photochemical methods have been developed for the control of (cellular) chemistry. Two methods were invented independently that used small molecular photoswitches to regulate the activity of enzymes and ion channels in living cells. Such methods were built upon the efforts made by chemists studying fundamental photochemical processes. I will describe the work in my laboratory that encompasses both aspects of these processes, namely the development of new optical chemical probes, and the application of such probes to unveil new aspects of biological signaling in living cells. Specifically we have recently enabled dual-colour control of cellular signaling, and photocontrol of calcium signaling with visible light. Finally, we have discovered, potentially, a new mode of calcium signaling in white matter axons using photocontrol of a drug selective for acetylcholine receptors.

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