Exploration of natural red-shifted rhodopsins using a machine learning-based Bayesian experimental design

Keiichi Inoue, Masayuki Karasuyama, Ryoko Nakamura, Masae Konno, Daichi Yamada, Kentaro Mannen, Takashi Nagata, Yu Inatsu, Hiromu Yawo, Kei Yura, Oded Béjà, Hideki Kandori, Ichiro Takeuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microbial rhodopsins are photoreceptive membrane proteins, which are used as molecular tools in optogenetics. Here, a machine learning (ML)-based experimental design method is introduced for screening rhodopsins that are likely to be red-shifted from representative rhodopsins in the same subfamily. Among 3,022 ion-pumping rhodopsins that were suggested by a protein BLAST search in several protein databases, the ML-based method selected 65 candidate rhodopsins. The wavelengths of 39 of them were able to be experimentally determined by expressing proteins with the Escherichia coli system, and 32 (82%, p = 7.025 × 10−5) actually showed red-shift gains. In addition, four showed red-shift gains >20 nm, and two were found to have desirable ion-transporting properties, indicating that they would be potentially useful in optogenetics. These findings suggest that data-driven ML-based approaches play effective roles in the experimental design of rhodopsin and other photobiological studies. (141/150 words).

Original languageEnglish
Article number362
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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