Peter Hegemann

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Microbial-type rhodopsins are found in archaea, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes. Some of them represent membrane ion transport proteins such as bacteriorhodopsin, a light-driven proton pump, or channelrhodopsin-1 (ChR1), a recently identified light-gated proton channel from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. ChR1 and ChR2, a related microbial-type(More)
Severe behavioural deficits in psychiatric diseases such as autism and schizophrenia have been hypothesized to arise from elevations in the cellular balance of excitation and inhibition (E/I balance) within neural microcircuitry. This hypothesis could unify diverse streams of pathophysiological and genetic evidence, but has not been susceptible to direct(More)
Although Chlamydomonas reinhardtii serves as the most popular algal model system, no efficient enzymatic selection marker for the nuclear transformation of wild-type cells is available. We sequenced an aminoglycoside 3'-phosphotransferase gene (aph) from Streptomyces rimosus. Though the derived protein sequence is homologous to members of APH type V, it(More)
Genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) are powerful tools for systems neuroscience. Here we describe red, single-wavelength GECIs, "RCaMPs," engineered from circular permutation of the thermostable red fluorescent protein mRuby. High-resolution crystal structures of mRuby, the red sensor RCaMP, and the recently published red GECI R-GECO1 give(More)
Here we describe bi-stable channelrhodopsins that convert a brief pulse of light into a stable step in membrane potential. These molecularly engineered probes nevertheless retain millisecond-scale temporal precision. Photocurrents can be precisely initiated and terminated with different colors of light, but operate at vastly longer time scales than(More)
The use of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a model system has been hindered by difficulties encountered in expressing foreign genes. We have synthesised a gene encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) adapted to the codon usage of C. reinhardtii (cgfp). After verifying the gene was functional in Escherichia coli, the cgfp was fused in frame to the phleomycin(More)
Channelrhodopsins such as channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) can drive spiking with millisecond precision in a wide variety of cells, tissues and animal species. However, several properties of this protein have limited the precision of optogenetic control. First, when ChR2 is expressed at high levels, extra spikes (for example, doublets) can occur in response to a(More)
Techniques for fast noninvasive control of neuronal excitability will be of major importance for analyzing and understanding neuronal networks and animal behavior. To develop these tools we demonstrated that two light-activated signaling proteins, vertebrate rat rhodopsin 4 (RO4) and the green algae channelrhodospin 2 (ChR2), could be used to control(More)
The introduction of two microbial opsin–based tools, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and halorhodopsin (NpHR), to neuroscience has generated interest in fast, multimodal, cell type–specific neural circuit control. Here we describe a cation-conducting channelrhodopsin (VChR1) from Volvox carteri that can drive spiking at 589 nm, with excitation maximum red-shifted(More)
Channelrhodopsins (ChRs) are light-gated cation channels derived from algae that have shown experimental utility in optogenetics; for example, neurons expressing ChRs can be optically controlled with high temporal precision within systems as complex as freely moving mammals. Although ChRs have been broadly applied to neuroscience research, little is known(More)