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Chemical Physics in Living Cells-using Light to Visualize and Control Intracellular Signal Transduction
Vishnu V. Krishnamurthy,Kai Zhang*
Author NameAffiliationE-mail
Vishnu V. Krishnamurthy Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA  
Kai Zhang* Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA;Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA;Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA kaizkaiz@illinois.edu 
Abstract:
Cells are crowded microenvironments filled with macromolecules undergoing constant physical and chemical interactions. The physicochemical makeup of the cells affects various cellular responses, determines cell-cell interactions and influences cell decisions. Chemical and physical properties differ between cells and within cells. Moreover, these properties are subject to dynamic changes in response to environmental signals, which often demand adjustments in the chemical or physical states of intracellular molecules. Indeed, cellular responses such as gene expression rely on the faithful relay of information from the outside to the inside of the cell, a process termed signal transduction. The signal often traverses a complex path across subcellular spaces with variable physical chemistry, sometimes even influencing it. Understanding the molecular states of such signaling molecules and their intracellular environments is vital to our understanding of the cell. Exploring such intricate spaces is possible today largely because of experimental and theoretical tools. Here, we focus on one tool that is commonly used in chemical physics studies-light. We summarize recent work which uses light to both visualize the cellular environment and also control intracellular processes along the axis of signal transduction. We highlight recent accomplishments in optical microscopy and optogenetics, an emerging experimental strategy which utilizes light to control the molecular processes in live cells. We believe that optogenetics lends unprecedented spatiotemporal precision to the manipulation of physicochemical properties in biological contexts. We hope to use this work to demonstrate new opportunities for chemical physicists who are interested in pursuing biological and biomedical questions.
Key words:  Optogenetics  Signal transduction  Optical microscopy  Super-resolution imaging  Protein-protein interactions  Receptor  Cytoskeletal track  Cargo trafficking  Gene transcription and translation
FundProject:The work was supported by the School of Molecular Cell Biology at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign.
活细胞中的化学物理-光学观测和控制细胞内信号转导
Vishnu V. Krishnamurthy,张凯*
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DOI:10.1063/1674-0068/31/cjcp1806152
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