Control of metabolic pathways by optogenetically-regulated AMPK and AKT

Prof. Dr. Gerald Radziwill (CIBSS-AI), Institute of Biology II, Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg

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Optogenetic tools facilitate the control of signal proteins in an unmatched spatiotemporal manner. Recently, we published optoRAF as the first light-regulated protein kinase and optoCNK1 as the first light-regulated scaffold protein. Dependent on the light intensity applied, optoCNK1 assembles specific signalling complexes stimulating RAF/ERK or AKT signalling. Thereby, optoCNK1 can be used to control cell proliferation or differentiation in a cell type-specific manner. Apart from protein signalling pathways, metabolic pathways regulate biological processes and determine the cell fate. The interplay between cell signalling and the metabolism is not well understood. Here, we will study the players that sense the nutrient availability and energy balance. The AKT/ mTORC1 pathway integrates nutrient availability and growth factor signals to trigger anabolic pathways in order to support cell growth. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is stimulated during nutrient deprivation and triggers catabolic pathways to restore ATP levels.


Publications resulting from the project

Optogenetic approaches for the spatiotemporal control of signal transduction pathways.
Kramer MM, Lataster L, Weber W, Radziwill G.
Int J Mol Sci 2021; doi: 10.3390/ijms22105300.

Multichromatic control of signaling pathways in mammalian cells.
Kramer MM, Mühlhäuser WWD, Weber W, Radziwill G.
Advanced Biology (Weinh). 2021; doi: 10.1002/adbi.202000196.