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Restoring the ON-switch in blind retinas: Opto-mGluR6, a next-generation optogenetic tool.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author van Wyk Michiel, Pielecka-Fortuna Justyna, Löwel Siegrid, Kleinlogel Sonja,
Project Next-generation optogenetics to cure blindness
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal PLoS Biology
Volume (Issue) 13(5)
Page(s) e1002143
Title of proceedings PLoS Biology

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Photoreceptor degeneration is one of the most prevalent causes of blindness. Despite photoreceptor loss, the inner retina and central visual pathways remain intact over an extended time period, which has led to creative optogenetic approaches to restore light sensitivity in the surviving inner retina. The major drawbacks of all optogenetic tools recently developed and tested in mouse models are their low light sensitivity and lack of physiological compatibility. Here we introduce a next-generation optogenetic tool, Opto-mGluR6, designed for retinal ON-bipolar cells, which overcomes these limitations. We show that Opto-mGluR6, a chimeric protein consisting of the intracellular domains of the ON-bipolar cell–specific metabotropic glutamate receptor mGluR6 and the light-sensing domains of melanopsin, reliably recovers vision at the retinal, cortical, and behavioral levels under moderate daylight illumination.