noMAGIC has the visionary goal of engineering genetically encoded ion channels, which can be remotely controlled (gated) by stimuli that penetrate deep into human tissue without negative side effects. The control over ion channel activity by deep penetrating stimuli will revolutionize research in neurobiology and physiology as it paves the way for remote and genuine non-invasive control of cell activity in vivo. Synthetic channels, which can be gated by magnetic fields (MF), near infrared (NIR) radiation or ultrasound (US) will be engineered in the frame of noMAGIC.
Synthetic channels will be engineered by three complementary work packages:
WP1 will engineer the channels by reiterated steps of rational and irrational design, high throughput screening and in vitro and in vivo functional testing.
WP2 will adopt a computational approach to analyze, from elastic network models, the mechanical connections in the channel pore and extracts information on the forces, which are required to gate a channel by the three stimuli.
WP3 will contribute avant-garde spectroscopic methods, which resolve structural changes of the channel proteins under the influence of remote stimuli. These structural insights will greatly advance our understanding of structure/function correlates in composite ion channels.