Engineered allostery in light-regulated LOV-Turbo enables precise spatiotemporal control of proximity labeling in living cells.
The incorporation of light-responsive domains into engineered proteins has enabled control of protein localization, interactions, and function with light. We integrated optogenetic control into proximity labeling (PL), a cornerstone technique for high-resolution proteomic mapping of organelles and interactomes in living cells. Through structure-guided screening and directed evolution, we installed the light-sensitive LOV domain into the PL enzyme TurboID to rapidly and reversibly control its labeling activity with low-power blue light. "LOV-Turbo" works in multiple contexts and dramatically reduces background in biotin-rich environments such as neurons. We used LOV-Turbo for pulse-chase labeling to discover proteins that traffick between endoplasmic reticulum, nuclear, and mitochondrial compartments under cellular stress. We also showed that instead of external light, LOV-Turbo can be activated by BRET from luciferase, enabling interaction-dependent PL. Overall, LOV-Turbo increases the spatial and temporal precision of PL, expanding the scope of experimental questions that can be addressed with PL.
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