Optogenetic manipulation and photoacoustic imaging using a near-infrared transgenic mouse model

Ludmila A. Kasatkina, Chenshuo Ma, Mikhail E. Matlashov, Tri Vu, Mucong Li, Andrii A. Kaberniuk, Junjie Yao, Vladislav V. Verkhusha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Optogenetic manipulation and optical imaging in the near-infrared range allow non-invasive light-control and readout of cellular and organismal processes in deep tissues in vivo. Here, we exploit the advantages of Rhodopseudomonas palustris BphP1 bacterial phytochrome, which incorporates biliverdin chromophore and reversibly photoswitches between the ground (740–800 nm) and activated (620–680 nm) states, to generate a loxP-BphP1 transgenic mouse model. The mouse enables Cre-dependent temporal and spatial targeting of BphP1 expression in vivo. We validate the optogenetic performance of endogenous BphP1, which in the activated state binds its engineered protein partner QPAS1, to trigger gene transcription in primary cells and living mice. We demonstrate photoacoustic tomography of BphP1 expression in different organs, developing embryos, virus-infected tissues and regenerating livers, with the centimeter penetration depth. The transgenic mouse model provides opportunities for both near-infrared optogenetics and photoacoustic imaging in vivo and serves as a source of primary cells and tissues with genomically encoded BphP1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2813
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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