Welcome to the eilslabs

The eilslabs form a joint research group between the division "Theoretical Bioinformatics" at the German Cancer Research Center (dkfz) and the department Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology (IPMB) at Heidelberg University. The group is headed by Prof. Roland Eils.



The new optogenetic tool termed LINuS (light-inducible nuclear localization signal) enables the reversible translocation of different target proteins into the cell nucleus. The system is based on the light-dependent uncaging of a nuclear localization signal, which is embedded into the photosensitive LOV2 domain from Avena sativa. Dominik Niopek, PhD student in Barbara Di Ventura’s group, and his colleagues applied LINuS not only to control the localization of fluorescent proteins in space and time, but also succeeded in employing LINuS for regulation of artificial as well as natural signaling factors in human cells, thereby initiating transcription of target genes or entry into mitosis with light. In contrast to other optogenetic tools used for controlling protein localization, LINuS is based on a single, small protein domain, is fully reversible and does not require exogenous cofactors for its activation. This renders LINuS universally applicable in mammalian and yeast cells and opens the door for future studies on spatiotemporal dynamics of disease-relevant protein networks.

The work, which was supported by the Helmholtz Initiative on Synthetic Biology coordinated by Roland Eils, was published this week in Nature Communications.

Further information:

Engineering light-inducible nuclear localization signals for precise spatiotemporal control of protein dynamics in living cells.

Niopek D, Benzinger D, Roensch J, Draebing T, Wehler P, Eils R, Di Ventura B.

Nat Commun. 2014 Jul 14;5:4404. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5404.