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Mechanism of Enzyme Rhodopsin Activation

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 MERA project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the MERA project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "MERA" about.

laboratory    awaits    discovered    vis    regulation    optogenetic    crystallography    cell    resolved    rhgc    activation    blastocladiella    first    neuroscience    ensemble    optogenetics    totally    phosphodiesterase    though    rhpde    coexpression    final    dynamics    decade    inactivation    uncharacterized    understand    activate    moderate    solution    intensities    hypopolarizer    perspectives    mera    gated    uv    desirable    flashes    lines    obtain    messenger    raman    rhodopsin    class    accordingly    conversion    neurons    fourth    sensory    characterization    cgmp    channelrhodopsin    neuronal    emersonii    subdivided    mechanism    light    photoreceptor    enzyme    broad    ray    engineering    channel    outcome    variety    urgently    cells    cyclase    aided    epr    offers    camp    ultimate    guanylyl    computer    ion    elegant    photoreceptors    model    time    crystals    generation    revolutionized    ftir    biophysical    technologies    fungus    family    spectroscopy    dimensional   

Project "MERA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: BERLIN
postcode: 10117

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 2˙398˙750 €
 EC max contribution 2˙398˙750 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-AdG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-10-01   to  2021-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    HUMBOLDT-UNIVERSITAET ZU BERLIN DE (BERLIN) coordinator 2˙398˙750.00


 Project objective

'Channelrhodopsin, which was discovered and described as a light-gated ion channel in my laboratory, has revolutionized the field of neuroscience over the past decade by enabling researchers to specifically activate selected neurons in a large ensemble of neuronal cells with short light flashes, a technology we now call 'Optogenetics.' However, though highly desirable, the inactivation of specific cells using moderate or low light intensities is not yet possible. The recently discovered rhodopsin-guanylyl-cyclase (RhGC) of the fungus Blastocladiella emersonii offers an elegant solution to this problem. Moreover, RhGC is a totally novel and uncharacterized sensory photoreceptor, and the first member of an enzyme rhodopsin family that urgently awaits in-depth characterization. Accordingly, the goal of the “mechanism of enzyme rhodopsin activation” (MERA) proposal is to obtain a comprehensive understanding of this novel photoreceptor, and to determine its functionality for broad application in optogenetics and other research fields. The MERA project is subdivided into four objectives. The first objective is the characterization and engineering of RhGC in cell lines and neurons as well as coexpression of RhGC with a cGMP-gated K channel to develop a 'Light-Hypopolarizer' for cell inactivation. The second objective is to understand the dynamics of RhGC using a variety of biophysical technologies including time resolved UV-vis, FTIR, and Raman and EPR spectroscopy. A third objective is the generation of crystals for X-ray crystallography and the development of a three dimensional RhGC model. The fourth and final objective is the computer-aided conversion of RhGC into a rhodopsin-phosphodiesterase (RhPDE) for down-regulation of the second messenger cGMP and/or cAMP using light. The ultimate outcome will be a detailed understanding of a novel class of sensory photoreceptors with new perspectives for broad optogenetic applications.'


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Ulrike Scheib, Matthias Broser, Oana M. Constantin, Shang Yang, Shiqiang Gao, Shatanik Mukherjee, Katja Stehfest, Georg Nagel, Christine E. Gee, Peter Hegemann
Rhodopsin-cyclases for photocontrol of cGMP/cAMP and 2.3 Å structure of the adenylyl cyclase domain
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04428-w
Nature Communications 9/1 2019-06-13
2017 Alfons Penzkofer, Ulrike Scheib, Katja Stehfest, Peter Hegemann
Absorption and Emission Spectroscopic Investigation of Thermal Dynamics and Photo-Dynamics of the Rhodopsin Domain of the Rhodopsin-Guanylyl Cyclase from the Nematophagous Fungus Catenaria anguillulae
published pages: 2099, ISSN: 1422-0067, DOI: 10.3390/ijms18102099
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 18/10 2019-06-13
2019 Scheib, U.
Biochemische und biophysikalische Charakterisierung von Rhodopsin-Guanylylzyklasen.
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2019 Shatanik Mukherjee, Peter Hegemann, Matthias Broser
Enzymerhodopsins: novel photoregulated catalysts for optogenetics
published pages: 118-126, ISSN: 0959-440X, DOI: 10.1016/
Current Opinion in Structural Biology 57 2019-06-06

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