The possibility of spatiotemporally photocontrolling translation holds considerable promise for studies on the biological roles of local translation in cells and tissues. Here we report caged aminoacyl-tRNAs (aa-tRNAs) synthesized using a (7-diethylaminocoumarin-4-yl)methoxycarbonyl (DEACM)-cage compound. DEACM-caged aa-tRNA does not spontaneously deacylate for at least 4 h in neutral aqueous solution, and does not bind to the elongation factor Tu. On irradiation at ∼405 nm at 125 mW cm-2, DEACM-aa-tRNA is converted into active aa-tRNA with a half-life of 19 s. Notably, this rapid uncaging induced by visible light does not impair the translation system. Translation is photoinduced when DEACM-aa-tRNA carrying a CCCG or a CUA anticodon is uncaged in the presence of mRNAs harbouring a CGGG four-base codon or a UAG amber codon, respectively. Protein synthesis is phototriggered in several model systems, including an in vitro translation system, an agarose gel, in liposomes and in mammalian cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)