Editors' ChoiceCell Imaging

How Green Was My Protein

Science's STKE  28 Nov 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 60, pp. tw6
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.60.tw6

Green fluorescent protein (GFP) is widely used as a non-invasive probe to monitor protein localization or to trace expression. The recently discovered red fluorescent protein is complementary to GFP and allows applications such as fluorescence resonance energy transfer. Terskikh et al. have generated a mutant of red fluorescent protein (E5) that changes its fluorescence from green to red over time. Because the rate of color conversion is independent of protein concentration, E5 can be used as a fluorescent clock to monitor the activation and down-regulation of gene expression in whole organisms.

Terskikh, A., Fradkov, A., Ermakova, G., Zaraisky, A., Tan, P., Kajava, A.V., Zhao, X., Lukyanov, S., Matz, M., Kim, S., Weissman, I., and Siebert, P. (2000) "Fluorescent Timer": Protein that changes color with time. Science 290: 1585-1588. [Abstract] [Full Text]