hahn lab


LOV2 is anchored to the mitochondrial outer membrane. The protein of interest (POI) is attached to Zdk. The POI is sequestered at mitochondria in the dark and released when cells are irradiated. Zdk (left) is a small peptide, stable in living cells, that binds selectively to the dark state of LOV2.

LOV is photoactivated very rapidly (< 0.5 milliseconds). The half time for return to the dark state can be adjusted using point mutations (in our hands from 1.7 to 496 seconds, Curr. Protoc. Cell Biol., 73: 21.10.1-14, 2016). Rapid return times are useful for precise kinetic control. Slower return times enable continuous activation with only a brief pulse of light every few minutes.

Description of the approach

Wang, W., Vilela, M., Winkler, A., Tarnawski, T.,  Schlichting, I., Yumerefendi, H., Kuhlman, B., Liu, R., Danuser, G., and Hahn, K.M. LOVTRAP, An Optogenetic System for Photo-induced Protein Dissociation. Nature Methods, 13(9): 755-8, 2016. PMC5137947. Online article | Free PMC article

Additional applications of LOVTRAP

Yumerefendi, H., Wang, H., Dickinson, D.J., Lerner, A., Malkus, P., Goldstein, B., Hahn, K., and Kuhlman, B. Light-dependent cytoplasmic recruitment enhances the dynamic range of a nuclear import photoswitch. Chembiochem. 2018, Feb 14. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201700681. [Epub ahead of print]. Online article | Free PMC article

Additional applications of Zdk

Van Haren, J., Charafeddine, R.A., Ettinger, A., Wang, H., Hahn, K.M., and Wittman, T. Local Control of Intracellular Microtubule Dynamics by EB1 Photo-Dissociation. Nature Cell Biol., 20(3):252-261, 2018.  
PMC5826794. Online article | Free PMC article (available July 21, 2018)

Detailed methods

Wang, H. and Hahn, K.M. LOVTRAP: a versatile method to control protein function with light. Curr. Protoc. Cell Biol., 73: 21.10.1 - 21.10.14, 2016. PMC5137945. Online article | Free PMC article


©2018 UNC Department of Pharmacology