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Schreiter Lab / Publications
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41 Publications

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    09/01/23 | All-optical reporting of chloride ion driving force in the nervous system
    Joshua S. Selfe , Teresa J. S. Steyn , Eran F. Shorer , Richard J. Burman , Kira M. Düsterwald , Ahmed S. Abdelfattah , Eric R. Schreiter , Sarah E. Newey , Colin J. Akerman , Joseph V. Raimondo
    bioRxiv. 2023 Sep 01:. doi: 10.1101/2023.08.30.555464

    Ionic driving forces provide the net electromotive force for ion movement across membranes and are therefore a fundamental property of all cells. In the nervous system, chloride driving force (DFCl) determines inhibitory signaling, as fast synaptic inhibition is mediated by chloride-permeable GABAA and glycine receptors. Here we present a new tool for all-Optical Reporting of CHloride Ion Driving force (ORCHID). We demonstrate ORCHID’s ability to provide accurate, high-throughput measurements of resting and dynamic DFCl from genetically targeted cell types over a range of timescales. ORCHID confirms theoretical predictions about the biophysical mechanisms that establish DFCl, reveals novel differences in DFCl between neurons and astrocytes under different network conditions, and affords the first in vivo measurements of intact DFCl in mouse cortical neurons. This work extends our understanding of chloride homeostasis and inhibitory synaptic transmission and establishes a precedent for utilizing all-optical methods to assess ionic driving force.

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    07/23/23 | Rational Engineering of an Improved Genetically Encoded pH Sensor Based on Superecliptic pHluorin.
    Shen Y, Wen Y, Sposini S, Vishwanath AA, Abdelfattah AS, Schreiter ER, Lemieux MJ, de Juan-Sanz J, Perrais D, Campbell RE
    ACS Sensors. 2023 Jul 23:. doi: 10.1021/acssensors.3c00484

    Genetically encoded pH sensors based on fluorescent proteins are valuable tools for the imaging of cellular events that are associated with pH changes, such as exocytosis and endocytosis. Superecliptic pHluorin (SEP) is a pH-sensitive green fluorescent protein (GFP) variant widely used for such applications. Here, we report the rational design, development, structure, and applications of Lime, an improved SEP variant with higher fluorescence brightness and greater pH sensitivity. The X-ray crystal structure of Lime supports the mechanistic rationale that guided the introduction of beneficial mutations. Lime provides substantial improvements relative to SEP for imaging of endocytosis and exocytosis. Furthermore, Lime and its variants are advantageous for a broader range of applications including the detection of synaptic release and neuronal voltage changes.

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    06/01/23 | Glutamate indicators with improved activation kinetics and localization for imaging synaptic transmission.
    Aggarwal A, Liu R, Chen Y, Ralowicz AJ, Bergerson SJ, Tomaska F, Mohar B, Hanson TL, Hasseman JP, Reep D, Tsegaye G, Yao P, Ji X, Kloos M, Walpita D, Patel R, Mohr MA, Tillberg PW, GENIE Project Team , Looger LL, Marvin JS, Hoppa MB, Konnerth A, Kleinfeld D, Schreiter ER, Podgorski K
    Nature Methods. 2023 Jun 01;20(6):. doi: 10.1038/s41592-023-01863-6

    The fluorescent glutamate indicator iGluSnFR enables imaging of neurotransmission with genetic and molecular specificity. However, existing iGluSnFR variants exhibit low in vivo signal-to-noise ratios, saturating activation kinetics and exclusion from postsynaptic densities. Using a multiassay screen in bacteria, soluble protein and cultured neurons, we generated variants with improved signal-to-noise ratios and kinetics. We developed surface display constructs that improve iGluSnFR's nanoscopic localization to postsynapses. The resulting indicator iGluSnFR3 exhibits rapid nonsaturating activation kinetics and reports synaptic glutamate release with decreased saturation and increased specificity versus extrasynaptic signals in cultured neurons. Simultaneous imaging and electrophysiology at individual boutons in mouse visual cortex showed that iGluSnFR3 transients report single action potentials with high specificity. In vibrissal sensory cortex layer 4, we used iGluSnFR3 to characterize distinct patterns of touch-evoked feedforward input from thalamocortical boutons and both feedforward and recurrent input onto L4 cortical neuron dendritic spines.

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    05/17/23 | Sensitivity optimization of a rhodopsin-based fluorescent voltage indicator
    Abdelfattah AS, Zheng J, Singh A, Huang Y, Reep D, Tsegaye G, Tsang A, Arthur BJ, Rehorova M, Olson CV, Shuai Y, Zhang L, Fu T, Milkie DE, Moya MV, Weber TD, Lemire AL, Baker CA, Falco N, Zheng Q, Grimm JB, Yip MC, Walpita D, Chase M, Campagnola L, Murphy GJ, Wong AM, Forest CR, Mertz J, Economo MN, Turner GC, Koyama M, Lin B, Betzig E, Novak O, Lavis LD, Svoboda K, Korff W, Chen T, Schreiter ER, Hasseman JP, Kolb I
    Neuron. 2023 May 17;111(10):1547-1563. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2023.03.009

    The ability to optically image cellular transmembrane voltages at millisecond-timescale resolutions can offer unprecedented insight into the function of living brains in behaving animals. Here, we present a point mutation that increases the sensitivity of Ace2 opsin-based voltage indicators. We use the mutation to develop Voltron2, an improved chemigeneic voltage indicator that has a 65% higher sensitivity to single APs and 3-fold higher sensitivity to subthreshold potentials than Voltron. Voltron2 retained the sub-millisecond kinetics and photostability of its predecessor, although with lower baseline fluorescence. In multiple in vitro and in vivo comparisons with its predecessor across multiple species, we found Voltron2 to be more sensitive to APs and subthreshold fluctuations. Finally, we used Voltron2 to study and evaluate the possible mechanisms of interneuron synchronization in the mouse hippocampus. Overall, we have discovered a generalizable mutation that significantly increases the sensitivity of Ace2 rhodopsin-based sensors, improving their voltage reporting capability.

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    03/15/23 | Fast and sensitive GCaMP calcium indicators for imaging neural populations.
    Zhang Y, Rozsa M, Liang Y, Bushey D, Wei Z, Zheng J, Reep D, Broussard GJ, Tsang A, Tsegaye G, Narayan S, Obara CJ, Lim J, Patel R, Zhang R, Ahrens MB, Turner GC, Wang SS, Korff WL, Schreiter ER, Svoboda K, Hasseman JP, Kolb I, Looger LL
    Nature. 2023 Mar 15:. doi: 10.1038/s41586-023-05828-9

    Calcium imaging with protein-based indicators is widely used to follow neural activity in intact nervous systems, but current protein sensors report neural activity at timescales much slower than electrical signalling and are limited by trade-offs between sensitivity and kinetics. Here we used large-scale screening and structure-guided mutagenesis to develop and optimize several fast and sensitive GCaMP-type indicators. The resulting 'jGCaMP8' sensors, based on the calcium-binding protein calmodulin and a fragment of endothelial nitric oxide synthase, have ultra-fast kinetics (half-rise times of 2 ms) and the highest sensitivity for neural activity reported for a protein-based calcium sensor. jGCaMP8 sensors will allow tracking of large populations of neurons on timescales relevant to neural computation.

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    04/01/21 | The HaloTag as a general scaffold for far-red tunable chemigenetic indicators.
    Deo C, Abdelfattah AS, Bhargava HK, Berro AJ, Falco N, Farrants H, Moeyaert B, Chupanova M, Lavis LD, Schreiter ER
    Nature Chemical Biology. 2021 Apr 01:. doi: 10.1038/s41589-021-00775-w

    Functional imaging using fluorescent indicators has revolutionized biology, but additional sensor scaffolds are needed to access properties such as bright, far-red emission. Here, we introduce a new platform for 'chemigenetic' fluorescent indicators, utilizing the self-labeling HaloTag protein conjugated to environmentally sensitive synthetic fluorophores. We solve a crystal structure of HaloTag bound to a rhodamine dye ligand to guide engineering efforts to modulate the dye environment. We show that fusion of HaloTag with protein sensor domains that undergo conformational changes near the bound dye results in large and rapid changes in fluorescence output. This generalizable approach affords bright, far-red calcium and voltage sensors with highly tunable photophysical and chemical properties, which can reliably detect single action potentials in cultured neurons.

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    09/15/20 | Erasable labeling of neuronal activity using a reversible calcium marker.
    Sha F, Abdelfattah AS, Patel R, Schreiter ER
    eLife. 2020 Sep 15;9:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.57249

    Understanding how the brain encodes and processes information requires the recording of neural activity that underlies different behaviors. Recent efforts in fluorescent protein engineering have succeeded in developing powerful tools for visualizing neural activity, in general by coupling neural activity to different properties of a fluorescent protein scaffold. Here, we take advantage of a previously unexploited class of reversibly switchable fluorescent proteins to engineer a new type of calcium sensor. We introduce rsCaMPARI, a genetically encoded calcium marker engineered from a reversibly switchable fluorescent protein that enables spatiotemporally precise marking, erasing, and remarking of active neuron populations under brief, user-defined time windows of light exposure. rsCaMPARI photoswitching kinetics are modulated by calcium concentration when illuminating with blue light, and the fluorescence can be reset with violet light. We demonstrate the utility of rsCaMPARI for marking and remarking active neuron populations in freely swimming zebrafish.

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    07/10/20 | A general approach to engineer positive-going eFRET voltage indicators
    Abdelfattah AS, Valenti R, Zheng J, Wong A, Podgorski K, Koyama M, Kim DS, Schreiter ER, Project Team GENIE
    Nature Communications. 2020 Jul 10;11(1):

    We engineered electrochromic fluorescence resonance energy transfer (eFRET) genetically encoded voltage indicators (GEVIs) with “positive-going” fluorescence response to membrane depolarization through rational manipulation of the native proton transport pathway in microbial rhodopsins. We transformed the state-of-the-art eFRET GEVI Voltron into Positron, with kinetics and sensitivity equivalent to Voltron but flipped fluorescence signal polarity. We further applied this general approach to GEVIs containing different voltage sensitive rhodopsin domains and various fluorescent dye and fluorescent protein reporters.

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    05/25/20 | jYCaMP: an optimized calcium indicator for two-photon imaging at fiber laser wavelengths.
    Mohr MA, Bushey D, Abhi Aggarwal , Marvin JS, Kim JJ, Marquez EJ, Liang Y, Patel R, Macklin JJ, Lee C, Tsang A, Tsegaye G, Ahrens AM, Chen JL, Kim DS, Wong AM, Looger LL, Schreiter ER, Podgorski K
    Nature Methods. 2020 May 25;17(1):694-97. doi: 10.1038/s41592-020-0835-7

    Femtosecond lasers at fixed wavelengths above 1,000 nm are powerful, stable and inexpensive, making them promising sources for two-photon microscopy. Biosensors optimized for these wavelengths are needed for both next-generation microscopes and affordable turn-key systems. Here we report jYCaMP1, a yellow variant of the calcium indicator jGCaMP7 that outperforms its parent in mice and flies at excitation wavelengths above 1,000 nm and enables improved two-color calcium imaging with red fluorescent protein-based indicators.

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    05/18/20 | Freeze-frame imaging of synaptic activity using SynTagMA.
    Perez-Alvarez A, Fearey BC, Schulze C, O'Toole RJ, Moeyaert B, Mohr MA, Arganda-Carreras I, Yang W, Wiegert JS, Schreiter ER, Gee CE, Hoppa MB, Oertner TG
    Nature Communications. 2020 May 18;11(1):2464. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16315-4

    Information within the brain travels from neuron to neuron across synapses. At any given moment, only a few synapses within billions will be active and are thought to transmit key information about the environment, a behavior being executed or memory being recalled. Here we present SynTagMA, which marks active synapses within a ~2 s time window. Upon violet illumination, the genetically expressed tag converts from green to red fluorescence if bound to calcium. Targeted to presynaptic terminals, preSynTagMA allows discrimination between active and silent axons. Targeted to excitatory postsynapses, postSynTagMA creates a snapshot of synapses active just before photoconversion. To analyze large datasets, we developed an analysis program that automatically identifies and tracks the fluorescence of thousands of individual synapses in tissue. Together, these tools provide a high throughput method for repeatedly mapping active synapses in vitro and in vivo.

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