Molecular probes and switches for functional analysis of receptors, ion channels and synaptic networksSubmit Manuscript on this topic
Photochromic switches and genetically encoded biosensors have become powerful tools to modulate the activity of neurons and neuronal networks. Our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the development and functioning of the nervous system has greatly advanced in recent years due to the application of these powerful molecular and genetic tools. Remote sensors allow probing localisation and function of specific neuronal proteins, cells and networks, as well as non-invasive monitoring of ions, specific proteins and enzymes. Photocontrolled molecular constructs allow switching on and off the activity of specific proteins and controlling the excitation and inhibition of neurons with high temporal and spatial resolution. These research areas expand extremely rapidly and a number of new approaches for image analysis of various proteins in living cells are being developed. The Research Topic aims to bring together experts in the field and welcome articles or topical reviewers to present breakthrough observations and application of new tools for molecular imaging and remote activation of receptors, ionic channels and synaptic networks.