Optical Manipulation of F-Actin with Photoswitchable Small Molecules

Malgorzata Borowiak, Florian Küllmer, Florian Gegenfurtner, Sebastian Peil, Veselin Nasufovic, Stefan Zahler, Oliver Thorn-Seshold, Dirk Trauner, Hans Dieter Arndt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cell-permeable photoswitchable small molecules, termed optojasps, are introduced to optically control the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton and cellular functions that depend on it. These light-dependent effectors were designed from the F-actin-stabilizing marine depsipeptide jasplakinolide by functionalizing them with azobenzene photoswitches. As demonstrated, optojasps can be employed to control cell viability, cell motility, and cytoskeletal signaling with the high spatial and temporal resolution that light affords. Optojasps can be expected to find applications in diverse areas of cell biological research. They may also provide a template for photopharmacology targeting the ubiquitous actin cytoskeleton with precision control in the micrometer range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9240-9249
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 20 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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