Lateral gene transfer of anion-conducting channelrhodopsins between green algae and giant viruses

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
A. RozenbergOded Béjà


Channelrhodopsins (ChRs) are algal light-gated ion channels widely used as optogenetic tools for manipulating neuronal activity. Four ChR families are currently known. Green algal and cryptophyte cation-conducting ChRs (CCRs), cryptophyte anion-conducting ChRs (ACRs), and the MerMAID ChRs. Here we report the discovery of a new family of phylogenetically distinct ChRs encoded by marine giant viruses and acquired from their unicellular green algal prasinophyte hosts. These previously unknown viral and green algal ChRs act as ACRs when expressed in cultured neuroblastoma-derived cells and are likely involved in behavioral responses to light.

Related Concepts

Guanosine Tetraphosphate
Anatomic Bifurcation
Theoretical Study
Protein Biosynthesis
Synthetic Genes
Metabolic Inhibition
RRNA Synthesis
RNA, Messenger

Related Feeds

BioRxiv & MedRxiv Preprints

BioRxiv and MedRxiv are the preprint servers for biology and health sciences respectively, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Here are the latest preprint articles (which are not peer-reviewed) from BioRxiv and MedRxiv.