Rhodopsins have been extensively employed for optogenetic regulation of bioelectrical activity of excitable cells and other cellular processes across biological systems. Various strategies have been adopted to attune the cellular processes at the desired subcellular compartment (plasma membrane, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi, mitochondria, lysosome) within the cell. These strategies include-adding signal sequences, tethering peptides, specific interaction sites, or mRNA elements at different sites in the optogenetic proteins for plasma membrane integration and subcellular targeting. However, a single approach for organelle optogenetics was not suitable for the relevant optogenetic proteins and often led to the poor expression, mislocalization, or altered physical and functional properties. Therefore, the current study is focused on the native subcellular targeting machinery of algal rhodopsins. The N- and C-terminus signal prediction led to the identification of rhodopsins with diverse organelle targeting signal sequences for the nucleus, mitochondria, lysosome, endosome, vacuole, and cilia. Several identified channelrhodopsins and ion-pumping rhodopsins possess effector domains associated with DNA metabolism (repair, replication, and recombination) and gene regulation. The identified algal rhodopsins with diverse effector domains and encoded native subcellular targeting sequences hold immense potential to establish expanded organelle optogenetic regulation and associated cellular signaling.
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