Hu mingli of jing yi college of tianjin university and he he of Shanghai jiao tong university have proposed a new technology based on femtosecond laser pointer stimulation to directly activate the extracellular regulatory protein kinase (ERK) signaling pathway. This technology is like a “key”, which can directly activate cell signaling pathway and efficiently participate in various life activities of cells by using external photon intervention. The results were published as a cover article in the latest issue of laser and photonics review, a leading journal in the field of optics.
All the living activities of a cell are accomplished by the transmission of signal molecules within the cell. In cells, there are multiple signaling pathways composed of multiple signal molecules coupled with each other, which overlap to form a complex network. Through the interaction of various small molecules and proteins, complex cellular signals are transmitted to the corresponding target locations within the cell. ERK signaling pathway is one of the most important signaling pathways in cells. With the progress of optogenetic technology, it has become a new research hotspot to use laser to activate intracellular photosensitive proteins to mediate and regulate downstream molecular signals and functions.
Femtosecond laser (femtosecond laser) is the technology to obtain the shortest pulse in laboratory. The experiments of hu mingli’s research group confirmed that, with femtosecond laser, as long as 100 ms stimulation was applied to any target cell, the intracellular ERK pathway could be activated efficiently, and no additional gene transfection was required. The study also confirmed that laser stimulation only has a regulatory effect on intracellular calcium ions, and other reactive oxygen radicals in cells do not participate in this process.