Showing posts from April, 2014

Engineering chemotaxis with DREADDs

A cool application of DREADD technology is found in a nice paper from the Wendall Lim lab at UCSF.

This elegantly demonstrates how synthetic biology tools may be used to modulate cell motility (in this case chemotaxis) in the periphery.  It is likely that this approach will prove useful for all types of motile cells.

DREADD-induced presynaptic silencing

This is something I've been hearing about for some time and is now on-line in Neuronfrom Stachniac, Ghosh and Sternson wherein they nicely demonstrate that hM4Di induces presynaptic silencing (via an unknown but likely interesting mechanism).

They also report an hM4D-neurexin variant which targets to axons.  We also have such a beast which may have improved surface expression and transport which may be similarly useful and is now available to all who wish to use it.  I see the Sternson variant is now available via ADDGENE.

This will be a highly useful reagent for spatio-temporal control of synaptic transmission. I note that Steve Mahler from Gary Aston-Jones' lab has also reported in Nature Neuroscience what appears to be a similar observation related to presynaptic dopamine release via local infusion of CNO.

A useful approach for activation of specific neuronal pathways using DREADDs and CAV-1 Cre

A nice proof-of-concept paper was just published in PLOS ONE

Combined Use of the Canine Adenovirus-2 and DREADD-Technology to Activate Specific Neural Pathways In Vivo

Here canine associated adenovirus (CAV) expressing Cre-recombinase was used to specifically express hM3Dq (AAV-DIO-hSyn-hM3Dq-mCherry) in VTA neurons projecting to the striatum.  This paper is nice as it describes the technology in some detail.

I note a similar use of this approach was previously described by Carter et al (Nature, 2013).

My sense is that this technology will be broadly useful...

New DREADD constructs and controls available from ADDGENE

A large batch of new plasmids (25) are now available viaADDGENE