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Sample records for fluorescent proteins engineered

  1. An Engineered Palette of Metal Ion Quenchable Fluorescent Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xiaozhen; Strub, Marie-Paule; Barnard, Travis J.; Noinaj, Nicholas; Piszczek, Grzegorz; Buchanan, Susan K.; Taraska, Justin W.

    2014-01-01

    Many fluorescent proteins have been created to act as genetically encoded biosensors. With these sensors, changes in fluorescence report on chemical states in living cells. Transition metal ions such as copper, nickel, and zinc are crucial in many physiological and pathophysiological pathways. Here, we engineered a spectral series of optimized transition metal ion-binding fluorescent proteins that respond to metals with large changes in fluorescence intensity. These proteins can act as metal biosensors or imaging probes whose fluorescence can be tuned by metals. Each protein is uniquely modulated by four different metals (Cu2+, Ni2+, Co2+, and Zn2+). Crystallography revealed the geometry and location of metal binding to the engineered sites. When attached to the extracellular terminal of a membrane protein VAMP2, dimeric pairs of the sensors could be used in cells as ratiometric probes for transition metal ions. Thus, these engineered fluorescent proteins act as sensitive transition metal ion-responsive genetically encoded probes that span the visible spectrum. PMID:24752441

  2. Advances in engineering of fluorescent proteins and photoactivatable proteins with red emission

    PubMed Central

    Piatkevich, Kiryl D.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2009-01-01

    Monomeric fluorescent proteins of different colors are widely used to study behavior and targeting of proteins in living cells. Fluorescent proteins that irreversibly change their spectral properties in response to light irradiation of a specific wavelength, or photoactivate, have become increasingly popular to image intracellular dynamics and super-resolution protein localization. Until recently, however, no optimized monomeric red fluorescent proteins and red photoactivatable proteins have been available. Furthermore, monomeric fluorescent proteins, which change emission from blue to red simply with time, so-called fluorescent timers, were developed to study protein age and turnover. Understanding of chemical mechanisms of the chromophore maturation or photoactivation into a red form will further advance engineering of fluorescent timers and photoactivatable proteins with enhanced and novel properties. PMID:19914857

  3. Engineering and Characterization of a Superfolder Green Fluorescent Protein

    SciTech Connect

    Pedelacq,J.; Cabantous, S.; Tran, T.; Terwilliger, T.; Waldo, G.

    2006-01-01

    Existing variants of green fluorescent protein (GFP) often misfold when expressed as fusions with other proteins. We have generated a robustly folded version of GFP, called 'superfolder' GFP, that folds well even when fused to poorly folded polypeptides. Compared to 'folding reporter' GFP, a folding-enhanced GFP containing the 'cycle-3' mutations and the 'enhanced GFP' mutations F64L and S65T, superfolder GFP shows improved tolerance of circular permutation, greater resistance to chemical denaturants and improved folding kinetics. The fluorescence of Escherichia coli cells expressing each of eighteen proteins from Pyrobaculum aerophilum as fusions with superfolder GFP was proportional to total protein expression. In contrast, fluorescence of folding reporter GFP fusion proteins was strongly correlated with the productive folding yield of the passenger protein. X-ray crystallographic structural analyses helped explain the enhanced folding of superfolder GFP relative to folding reporter GFP.

  4. Thermal green protein, an extremely stable, nonaggregating fluorescent protein created by structure-guided surface engineering

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Close, Devin W.; Paul, Craig Don; Langan, Patricia S.; Wilce, Matthew C. J.; Traore, Daouda A. K.; Halfmann, Randal; Rocha, Reginaldo C.; Waldo, Geoffery S.; Payne, Riley J.; Rucker, Joseph B.; et al

    2015-05-08

    In this paper, we describe the engineering and X-ray crystal structure of Thermal Green Protein (TGP), an extremely stable, highly soluble, non-aggregating green fluorescent protein. TGP is a soluble variant of the fluorescent protein eCGP123, which despite being highly stable, has proven to be aggregation-prone. The X-ray crystal structure of eCGP123, also determined within the context of this paper, was used to carry out rational surface engineering to improve its solubility, leading to TGP. The approach involved simultaneously eliminating crystal lattice contacts while increasing the overall negative charge of the protein. Despite intentional disruption of lattice contacts and introduction ofmore » high entropy glutamate side chains, TGP crystallized readily in a number of different conditions and the X-ray crystal structure of TGP was determined to 1.9 Å resolution. The structural reasons for the enhanced stability of TGP and eCGP123 are discussed. We demonstrate the utility of using TGP as a fusion partner in various assays and significantly, in amyloid assays in which the standard fluorescent protein, EGFP, is undesirable because of aberrant oligomerization.« less

  5. Thermal green protein, an extremely stable, nonaggregating fluorescent protein created by structure-guided surface engineering

    SciTech Connect

    Close, Devin W.; Paul, Craig Don; Langan, Patricia S.; Wilce, Matthew C. J.; Traore, Daouda A. K.; Halfmann, Randal; Rocha, Reginaldo C.; Waldo, Geoffery S.; Payne, Riley J.; Rucker, Joseph B.; Prescott, Mark; Bradbury, Andrew R. M.

    2015-05-08

    In this paper, we describe the engineering and X-ray crystal structure of Thermal Green Protein (TGP), an extremely stable, highly soluble, non-aggregating green fluorescent protein. TGP is a soluble variant of the fluorescent protein eCGP123, which despite being highly stable, has proven to be aggregation-prone. The X-ray crystal structure of eCGP123, also determined within the context of this paper, was used to carry out rational surface engineering to improve its solubility, leading to TGP. The approach involved simultaneously eliminating crystal lattice contacts while increasing the overall negative charge of the protein. Despite intentional disruption of lattice contacts and introduction of high entropy glutamate side chains, TGP crystallized readily in a number of different conditions and the X-ray crystal structure of TGP was determined to 1.9 Å resolution. The structural reasons for the enhanced stability of TGP and eCGP123 are discussed. We demonstrate the utility of using TGP as a fusion partner in various assays and significantly, in amyloid assays in which the standard fluorescent protein, EGFP, is undesirable because of aberrant oligomerization.

  6. Near-infrared fluorescent proteins engineered from bacterial phytochromes

    PubMed Central

    Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Baloban, Mikhail; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2015-01-01

    Near-infrared fluorescent proteins (NIR FPs), photoactivatable NIR FPs and NIR reporters of protein-protein interactions developed from bacterial phytochrome photoreceptors (BphPs) have advanced non-invasive deep-tissue imaging. Here we provide a brief guide to the BphP-derived NIR probes with an emphasis on their in vivo applications. We describe phenotypes of NIR FPs and their photochemical and intracellular properties. We discuss NIR FP applications for imaging of various cell types, tissues and animal models in basic and translational research. In this discussion, we focus on NIR FPs that efficiently incorporate endogenous biliverdin chromophore and therefore can be used as straightforward as GFP-like proteins. We also overview a usage of NIR FPs in different imaging platforms, from planar epifluorescence to tomographic and photoacoustic technologies. PMID:26115447

  7. Near-infrared fluorescent proteins engineered from bacterial phytochromes.

    PubMed

    Shcherbakova, Daria M; Baloban, Mikhail; Verkhusha, Vladislav V

    2015-08-01

    Near-infrared fluorescent proteins (NIR FPs), photoactivatable NIR FPs and NIR reporters of protein-protein interactions developed from bacterial phytochrome photoreceptors (BphPs) have advanced non-invasive deep-tissue imaging. Here we provide a brief guide to the BphP-derived NIR probes with an emphasis on their in vivo applications. We describe phenotypes of NIR FPs and their photochemical and intracellular properties. We discuss NIR FP applications for imaging of various cell types, tissues and animal models in basic and translational research. In this discussion, we focus on NIR FPs that efficiently incorporate endogenous biliverdin chromophore and therefore can be used as straightforward as GFP-like proteins. We also overview a usage of NIR FPs in different imaging platforms, from planar epifluorescence to tomographic and photoacoustic technologies. PMID:26115447

  8. Ultrafast excited-state dynamics and fluorescence deactivation of near-infrared fluorescent proteins engineered from bacteriophytochromes.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jingyi; Shcherbakova, Daria M; Hontani, Yusaku; Verkhusha, Vladislav V; Kennis, John T M

    2015-01-01

    Near-infrared fluorescent proteins, iRFPs, are recently developed genetically encoded fluorescent probes for deep-tissue in vivo imaging. Their functions depend on the corresponding fluorescence efficiencies and electronic excited state properties. Here we report the electronic excited state deactivation dynamics of the most red-shifted iRFPs: iRFP702, iRFP713 and iRFP720. Complementary measurements by ultrafast broadband fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy show that single exponential decays of the excited state with 600~700 ps dominate in all three iRFPs, while photoinduced isomerization was completely inhibited. Significant kinetic isotope effects (KIE) were observed with a factor of ~1.8 in D2O, and are interpreted in terms of an excited-state proton transfer (ESPT) process that deactivates the excited state in competition with fluorescence and chromophore mobility. On this basis, new approaches for rational molecular engineering may be applied to iRFPs to improve their fluorescence. PMID:26246319

  9. Ultrafast excited-state dynamics and fluorescence deactivation of near-infrared fluorescent proteins engineered from bacteriophytochromes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Jingyi; Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Hontani, Yusaku; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.; Kennis, John T. M.

    2015-08-01

    Near-infrared fluorescent proteins, iRFPs, are recently developed genetically encoded fluorescent probes for deep-tissue in vivo imaging. Their functions depend on the corresponding fluorescence efficiencies and electronic excited state properties. Here we report the electronic excited state deactivation dynamics of the most red-shifted iRFPs: iRFP702, iRFP713 and iRFP720. Complementary measurements by ultrafast broadband fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy show that single exponential decays of the excited state with 600 ~ 700 ps dominate in all three iRFPs, while photoinduced isomerization was completely inhibited. Significant kinetic isotope effects (KIE) were observed with a factor of ~1.8 in D2O, and are interpreted in terms of an excited-state proton transfer (ESPT) process that deactivates the excited state in competition with fluorescence and chromophore mobility. On this basis, new approaches for rational molecular engineering may be applied to iRFPs to improve their fluorescence.

  10. Strengths and Weaknesses of Recently Engineered Red Fluorescent Proteins Evaluated in Live Cells Using Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Amanda P.; Baird, Michelle A.; Davidson, Michael W.; Day, Richard N.

    2013-01-01

    The scientific community is still looking for a bright, stable red fluorescent protein (FP) as functional as the current best derivatives of green fluorescent protein (GFP). The red FPs exploit the reduced background of cells imaged in the red region of the visible spectrum, but photophysical short comings have limited their use for some spectroscopic approaches. Introduced nearly a decade ago, mCherry remains the most often used red FP for fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and other single molecule techniques, despite the advent of many newer red FPs. All red FPs suffer from complex photophysics involving reversible conversions to a dark state (flickering), a property that results in fairly low red FP quantum yields and potential interference with spectroscopic analyses including FCS. The current report describes assays developed to determine the best working conditions for, and to uncover the shortcoming of, four recently engineered red FPs for use in FCS and other diffusion and spectroscopic studies. All five red FPs assayed had potential shortcomings leading to the conclusion that the current best red FP for FCS is still mCherry. The assays developed here aim to enable the rapid evaluation of new red FPs and their smooth adaptation to live cell spectroscopic microscopy and nanoscopy. PMID:24129172

  11. Allosteric effects of chromophore interaction with dimeric near-infrared fluorescent proteins engineered from bacterial phytochromes

    PubMed Central

    Stepanenko, Olesya V.; Baloban, Mikhail; Bublikov, Grigory S.; Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Stepanenko, Olga V.; Turoverov, Konstantin K.; Kuznetsova, Irina M.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2016-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins (FPs) engineered from bacterial phytochromes attract attention as probes for in vivo imaging due to their near-infrared (NIR) spectra and use of available in mammalian cells biliverdin (BV) as chromophore. We studied spectral properties of the iRFP670, iRFP682 and iRFP713 proteins and their mutants having Cys residues able to bind BV either in both PAS (Cys15) and GAF (Cys256) domains, in one of these domains, or without these Cys residues. We show that the absorption and fluorescence spectra and the chromophore binding depend on the location of the Cys residues. Compared with NIR FPs in which BV covalently binds to Cys15 or those that incorporate BV noncovalently, the proteins with BV covalently bound to Cys256 have blue-shifted spectra and higher quantum yield. In dimeric NIR FPs without Cys15, the covalent binding of BV to Сys256 in one monomer allosterically inhibits the covalent binding of BV to the other monomer, whereas the presence of Cys15 allosterically promotes BV binding to Cys256 in both monomers. The NIR FPs with both Cys residues have the narrowest blue-shifted spectra and the highest quantum yield. Our analysis resulted in the iRFP713/Val256Cys protein with the highest brightness in mammalian cells among available NIR FPs. PMID:26725513

  12. Allosteric effects of chromophore interaction with dimeric near-infrared fluorescent proteins engineered from bacterial phytochromes.

    PubMed

    Stepanenko, Olesya V; Baloban, Mikhail; Bublikov, Grigory S; Shcherbakova, Daria M; Stepanenko, Olga V; Turoverov, Konstantin K; Kuznetsova, Irina M; Verkhusha, Vladislav V

    2016-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins (FPs) engineered from bacterial phytochromes attract attention as probes for in vivo imaging due to their near-infrared (NIR) spectra and use of available in mammalian cells biliverdin (BV) as chromophore. We studied spectral properties of the iRFP670, iRFP682 and iRFP713 proteins and their mutants having Cys residues able to bind BV either in both PAS (Cys15) and GAF (Cys256) domains, in one of these domains, or without these Cys residues. We show that the absorption and fluorescence spectra and the chromophore binding depend on the location of the Cys residues. Compared with NIR FPs in which BV covalently binds to Cys15 or those that incorporate BV noncovalently, the proteins with BV covalently bound to Cys256 have blue-shifted spectra and higher quantum yield. In dimeric NIR FPs without Cys15, the covalent binding of BV to Сys256 in one monomer allosterically inhibits the covalent binding of BV to the other monomer, whereas the presence of Cys15 allosterically promotes BV binding to Cys256 in both monomers. The NIR FPs with both Cys residues have the narrowest blue-shifted spectra and the highest quantum yield. Our analysis resulted in the iRFP713/Val256Cys protein with the highest brightness in mammalian cells among available NIR FPs. PMID:26725513

  13. Multiparametric Flow Cytometry Using Near-Infrared Fluorescent Proteins Engineered from Bacterial Phytochromes

    PubMed Central

    Telford, William G.; Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Buschke, David; Hawley, Teresa S.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2015-01-01

    Engineering of fluorescent proteins (FPs) has followed a trend of achieving longer fluorescence wavelengths, with the ultimate goal of producing proteins with both excitation and emission in the near-infrared (NIR) region of the spectrum. Flow cytometers are now almost universally equipped with red lasers, and can now be equipped with NIR lasers as well. Most red-shifted FPs of the GFP-like family are maximally excited by orange lasers (590 to 610 nm) not commonly found on cytometers. This has changed with the development of the iRFP series of NIR FPs from the protein family of bacterial phytochromes. The shortest wavelength variants of this series, iRFP670 and iRFP682 showed maximal excitation with visible red lasers. The longer wavelength variants iRFP702, iRFP713 and iRFP720 could be optimally excited by NIR lasers ranging from 685 to 730 nm. Pairs of iRFPs could be detected simultaneously by using red and NIR lasers. Moreover, a novel spectral cytometry technique, which relies on spectral deconvolution rather than optical filters, allowed spectra of all five iRFPs to be analyzed simultaneously with no spectral overlap. Together, the combination of iRFPs with the advanced flow cytometry will allow to first image tissues expressing iRFPs deep in live animals and then quantify individual cell intensities and sort out the distinct primary cell subpopulations ex vivo. PMID:25811854

  14. Engineering fluorescent proteins towards ultimate performances: lessons from the newly developed cyan variants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mérola, Fabienne; Erard, Marie; Fredj, Asma; Pasquier, Hélène

    2016-03-01

    New fluorescent proteins (FPs) are constantly discovered from natural sources, and submitted to intensive engineering based on random mutagenesis and directed evolution. However, most of these newly developed FPs fail to achieve all the performances required for their bioimaging applications. The design of highly optimised FP-based reporters, simultaneously displaying appropriate colour, multimeric state, chromophore maturation, brightness, photostability and environmental sensitivity will require a better understanding of the structural and dynamic determinants of FP photophysics. The recent development of cyan fluorescent proteins (CFPs) like mCerulean3, mTurquoise2 and Aquamarine brings a different view on these questions, as in this particular case, a step by step evaluation of critical mutations has been performed within a family of spectrally identical and evolutionary close variants. These efforts have led to CFPs with quantum yields close to unity, near single exponential emission decays, high photostability and complete insensitivity to pH, making them ideal choices as energy transfer donors in FRET and FLIM imaging applications. During this process, it was found that a proper amino-acid choice at only two positions (148 and 65) is sufficient to transform the performances of CFPs: with the help of structural and theoretical investigations, we rationalise here how these two positions critically control the CFP photophysics, in the context of FPs derived from the Aequorea victoria species. Today, these results provide a useful toolbox for upgrading the different CFP donors carried by FRET biosensors. They also trace the route towards the de novo design of FP-based optogenetic devices that will be perfectly tailored to dedicated imaging and sensing applications.

  15. Imaging HIV-1 Tat Trafficking and Interactions by Engineered Green-Fluorescent-Protein Tagging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beltram, Fabio

    2002-03-01

    The direct monitoring of protein function in live cells under physiologically relevant conditions is one of the most powerful and innovative methodologies for proteomics. Efficient florescent probes fully compatible with human-cell expression are the fundamental tools for these studies and their optimization opens the way to resolution at the single-protein level. Biological events involving protein pairs are also directly accessible thanks to tuning of protein-tag spectral properties and production of complementary pairs. Such pairs are characterized by overlapping absorption (for the acceptor tag) and emission (for the donor tag) spectra. By tagging the proteins of interest with acceptor and donor molecules, protein interaction can be directly visualized by FRET, fluorescent resonant energy transfer. In this talk we shall present the design by molecular dynamics calculations and the application of optimized green fluorescent proteins to the study of the human immunodeficiency virus HIV-1 proteomics. In particular trafficking and cellular interactions of HIV-1 transactivator protein Tat in live human cells will be presented. Tat localization and complex internalization pathways of exogenous molecules will be presented thanks to the peculiar optical properties of mutated GFPs. Cellular protein partners and subcellular interaction sites will be identified and directly visualized. The relevance of such results and of advanced spectroscopic and imaging techniques for a new level of understanding of biological processes and its significance for advancement in molecular biology will be underlined. A. Marcello et al., J. Biol. Chem. 276, 39220 (2001). R. Cinelli et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 3353 (2001).

  16. Structural and dynamic changes associated with beneficial engineered single-amino-acid deletion mutations in enhanced green fluorescent protein

    SciTech Connect

    Arpino, James A. J.; Rizkallah, Pierre J.; Jones, D. Dafydd

    2014-08-01

    The beneficial engineered single-amino-acid deletion variants EGFP{sup D190Δ} and EGFP{sup A227Δ} have been studied. Single-amino-acid deletions are a common part of the natural evolutionary landscape but are rarely sampled during protein engineering owing to limited and prejudiced molecular understanding of mutations that shorten the protein backbone. Single-amino-acid deletion variants of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) have been identified by directed evolution with the beneficial effect of imparting increased cellular fluorescence. Biophysical characterization revealed that increased functional protein production and not changes to the fluorescence parameters was the mechanism that was likely to be responsible. The structure EGFP{sup D190Δ} containing a deletion within a loop revealed propagated changes only after the deleted residue. The structure of EGFP{sup A227Δ} revealed that a ‘flipping’ mechanism was used to adjust for residue deletion at the end of a β-strand, with amino acids C-terminal to the deletion site repositioning to take the place of the deleted amino acid. In both variants new networks of short-range and long-range interactions are generated while maintaining the integrity of the hydrophobic core. Both deletion variants also displayed significant local and long-range changes in dynamics, as evident by changes in B factors compared with EGFP. Rather than being detrimental, deletion mutations can introduce beneficial structural effects through altering core protein properties, folding and dynamics, as well as function.

  17. Far-red light photoactivatable near-infrared fluorescent proteins engineered from a bacterial phytochrome

    PubMed Central

    Piatkevich, Kiryl D.; Subach, Fedor V.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2013-01-01

    Ability to modulate fluorescence of optical probes can be used to enhance signal-to-noise ratio for imaging within highly autofluorescent environments, such as intact tissues and living organisms. Here we report two phytochrome-based photoactivatable near-infrared fluorescent proteins, named PAiRFP1 and PAiRFP2. PAiRFPs utilize heme-derived biliverdin, ubiquitous in mammalian tissues, as the chromophore. Initially weakly fluorescent PAiRFPs undergo photoconversion into a highly fluorescent state with excitation/emission at 690 nm/717 nm following a brief irradiation with far-red light. After photoactivation, PAiRFPs slowly revert back to initial state, enabling multiple photoactivation-relaxation cycles. Low-temperature optical spectroscopy reveals several intermediates involved in PAiRFP photocycles, which all differ from that of the bacteriophytochrome precursor. PAiRFPs can be photoactivated in a spatially selective manner in mouse tissues, and optical modulation of their fluorescence allows for substantial contrast enhancement, making PAiRFPs advantageous over permanently fluorescent probes for in vivo imaging conditions of high autofluorescence and low signal levels. PMID:23842578

  18. Highly thermostable fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Bradbury, Andrew M.; Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Kiss, Csaba

    2011-03-22

    Thermostable fluorescent proteins (TSFPs), methods for generating these and other stability-enhanced proteins, polynucleotides encoding such proteins, and assays and method for using the TSFPs and TSFP-encoding nucleic acid molecules are provided. The TSFPs of the invention show extremely enhanced levels of stability and thermotolerance. In one case, for example, a TSFP of the invention is so stable it can be heated to 99.degree. C. for short periods of time without denaturing, and retains 85% of its fluorescence when heated to 80.degree. C. for several minutes. The invention also provides a method for generating stability-enhanced variants of a protein, including but not limited to fluorescent proteins.

  19. Highly thermostable fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Bradbury, Andrew M.; Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Kiss, Csaba

    2012-05-01

    Thermostable fluorescent proteins (TSFPs), methods for generating these and other stability-enhanced proteins, polynucleotides encoding such proteins, and assays and method for using the TSFPs and TSFP-encoding nucleic acid molecules are provided. The TSFPs of the invention show extremely enhanced levels of stability and thermotolerance. In one case, for example, a TSFP of the invention is so stable it can be heated to 99.degree. C. for short periods of time without denaturing, and retains 85% of its fluorescence when heated to 80.degree. C. for several minutes. The invention also provides a method for generating stability-enhanced variants of a protein, including but not limited to fluorescent proteins.

  20. Highly thermostable fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Bradbury, Andrew M.; Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Kiss, Csaba

    2011-11-29

    Thermostable fluorescent proteins (TSFPs), methods for generating these and other stability-enhanced proteins, polynucleotides encoding such proteins, and assays and method for using the TSFPs and TSFP-encoding nucleic acid molecules are provided. The TSFPs of the invention show extremely enhanced levels of stability and thermotolerance. In one case, for example, a TSFP of the invention is so stable it can be heated to 99.degree. C. for short periods of time without denaturing, and retains 85% of its fluorescence when heated to 80.degree. C. for several minutes. The invention also provides a method for generating stability-enhanced variants of a protein, including but not limited to fluorescent proteins.

  1. Field Longevity of a Fluorescent Protein Marker in an Engineered Strain of the Pink Bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders)

    PubMed Central

    Claus, John; Tang, Guolei; Phillips, Caroline E.; Young, Robin; Zink, Richard T.; Alphey, Luke

    2012-01-01

    The cotton pest, pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders)), is a significant pest in most cotton-growing areas around the world. In southwestern USA and northern Mexico, pink bollworm is the target of the sterile insect technique (SIT), which relies on the mass-release of sterile pink bollworm adults to over-flood the wild population and thereby reduce it over time. Sterile moths reared for release are currently marked with a dye provided in their larval diet. There are concerns, however, that this marker fails from time to time, leading to sterile moths being misidentified in monitoring traps as wild moths. This can lead to expensive reactionary releases of sterile moths. We have developed a genetically marked strain that is engineered to express a fluorescent protein, DsRed2, which is easily screened under a specialised microscope. In order to test this marker under field conditions, we placed wild-type and genetically marked moths on traps and placed them in field cages. The moths were then screened, in a double-blind fashion, for DsRed2 fluorescence at regular intervals to determine marker reliability over time. The marker was shown to be robust in very high temperatures and generally proved reliable for a week or longer. More importantly, genotyping of moths on traps by PCR screening of the moths was 100% correct. Our findings indicate that this strain - and fluorescent protein markers in general - could make a valuable contribution to SIT. PMID:22693645

  2. Exploring the folding pathway of green fluorescent protein through disulfide engineering

    PubMed Central

    Pitman, Derek J; Banerjee, Shounak; Macari, Stephen J; Castaldi, Christopher A; Crone, Donna E; Bystroff, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    We have introduced two disulfide crosslinks into the loop regions on opposite ends of the beta barrel in superfolder green fluorescent protein (GFP) in order to better understand the nature of its folding pathway. When the disulfide on the side opposite the N/C-termini is formed, folding is 2× faster, unfolding is 2000× slower, and the protein is stabilized by 16 kJ/mol. But when the disulfide bond on the side of the termini is formed we see little change in the kinetics and stability. The stabilization upon combining the two crosslinks is approximately additive. When the kinetic effects are broken down into multiple phases, we observe Hammond behavior in the upward shift of the kinetic m-value of unfolding. We use these results in conjunction with structural analysis to assign folding intermediates to two parallel folding pathways. The data are consistent with a view that the two fastest transition states of folding are "barrel closing" steps. The slower of the two phases passes through an intermediate with the barrel opening occurring between strands 7 and 8, while the faster phase opens between 9 and 4. We conclude that disulfide crosslink-induced perturbations in kinetics are useful for mapping the protein folding pathway. PMID:25516354

  3. Fluorescent Protein Biosensors Applied to Microphysiological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Senutovitch, Nina; Vernetti, Lawrence; Boltz, Robert; DeBiasio, Richard; Gough, Albert; Taylor, D. Lansing

    2015-01-01

    This mini-review discusses the evolution of fluorescence as a tool to study living cells and tissues in vitro and the present role of fluorescent protein biosensors (FPBs) in microphysiological systems (MPS). FPBs allow the measurement of temporal and spatial dynamics of targeted cellular events involved in normal and perturbed cellular assay systems and microphysiological systems in real-time. FPBs evolved from fluorescent analog cytochemistry (FAC) that permitted the measurement of the dynamics of purified proteins covalently labeled with environmentally insensitive fluorescent dyes and then incorporated into living cells, as well as a large list of diffusible fluorescent probes engineered to measure environmental changes in living cells. In parallel, a wide range of fluorescence microscopy methods were developed to measure the chemical and molecular activities of the labeled cells, including ratio imaging, fluorescence lifetime, total internal reflection, 3D imaging, including super-resolution, as well as high content screening (HCS). FPBs evolved from FAC by combining environmentally sensitive fluorescent dyes with proteins in order to monitor specific physiological events such as post-translational modifications, production of metabolites, changes in various ion concentrations and the dynamic interaction of proteins with defined macromolecules in time and space within cells. Original FPBs involved the engineering of fluorescent dyes to sense specific activities when covalently attached to particular domains of the targeted protein. The subsequent development of fluorescent proteins (FPs), such as the green fluorescent protein (GFP), dramatically accelerated the adoption of studying living cells, since the genetic “labeling” of proteins became a relatively simple method that permitted the analysis of temporal-spatial dynamics of a wide range of proteins. Investigators subsequently engineered the fluorescence properties of the FPs for environmental

  4. Engineering ESPT pathways based on structural analysis of LSSmKate red fluorescent proteins with large Stokes shift

    PubMed Central

    Piatkevich, Kiryl D.; Malashkevich, Vladimir N.; Almo, Steven C.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2010-01-01

    LSSmKate1 and LSSmKate2 are monomeric red fluorescent proteins (RFPs) with large Stokes shifts (LSSs) which allows for efficient separation of absorbance and emission maxima, as well as for excitation with conventional two-photon laser sources. These LSSmKates differ by a single amino acid substitution at position 160 and exhibit absorbance maxima around 460 nm, corresponding to a neutral DsRed-like chromophore. However, excitation at 460 nm leads to fluorescence emission above 600 nm. Structures of LSSmKate1 and LSSmKate2, determined at resolutions of 2.0 Å and 1.5 Å, respectively, revealed that the predominant DsRed-chromophore configurations are cis for LSSmKate1 but trans for LSSmKate2. Crystallographic and mutagenesis analyses, as well as isotope and temperature dependences suggest that an excited state proton transfer (ESPT) is responsible for the LSSs observed in LSSmKates. Hydrogen bonding between the chromophore hydroxyl and Glu160 in LSSmKate1 and a proton relay involving the chromophore tyrosine hydroxyl, Ser158 and the Asp160 carboxylate in LSSmKate2 represent the putative ESPT pathways. Comparisons with mKeima LSS RFP suggest that similar proton relays could be engineered in other FPs. Accordingly, we mutated positions 158 and 160 in several conventional red-shifted FPs, including mNeptune, mCherry, mStrawberry, mOrange and mKO, and the resulting FP variants exhibited LSS fluorescence emission in a wide range of wavelengths from 560 to 640 nm. These data suggest that different chromophores formed by distinct tripeptides in different environments can be rationally modified to yield RFPs with novel photochemical properties. PMID:20681709

  5. Emerging fluorescent protein technologies.

    PubMed

    Enterina, Jhon Ralph; Wu, Lanshi; Campbell, Robert E

    2015-08-01

    Fluorescent proteins (FPs), such as the Aequorea jellyfish green FP (GFP), are firmly established as fundamental tools that enable a wide variety of biological studies. Specifically, FPs can serve as versatile genetically encoded markers for tracking proteins, organelles, or whole cells, and as the basis for construction of biosensors that can be used to visualize a growing array of biochemical events in cells and tissues. In this review we will focus on emerging applications of FPs that represent unprecedented new directions for the field. These emerging applications include new strategies for using FPs in biosensing applications, and innovative ways of using FPs to manipulate protein function or gene expression. PMID:26043278

  6. Green fluorescent protein: A perspective

    PubMed Central

    Remington, S James

    2011-01-01

    A brief personal perspective is provided for green fluorescent protein (GFP), covering the period 1994–2011. The topics discussed are primarily those in which my research group has made a contribution and include structure and function of the GFP polypeptide, the mechanism of fluorescence emission, excited state protein transfer, the design of ratiometric fluorescent protein biosensors and an overview of the fluorescent proteins derived from coral reef animals. Structure-function relationships in photoswitchable fluorescent proteins and nonfluorescent chromoproteins are also briefly covered. PMID:21714025

  7. Visualization of feline calicivirus replication in real-time with recombinant viruses engineered to express fluorescent reporter proteins.

    PubMed

    Abente, Eugenio J; Sosnovtsev, Stanislav V; Bok, Karin; Green, Kim Y

    2010-04-25

    Caliciviruses are non-enveloped, icosahedral viruses with a single-stranded, positive sense RNA genome. Transposon-mediated insertional mutagenesis was used to insert a transprimer sequence into random sites of an infectious full-length cDNA clone of the feline calicivirus (FCV) genome. A site in the LC gene (encoding the capsid leader protein) of the FCV genome was identified that could tolerate foreign insertions, and two viable recombinant FCV variants expressing LC fused either to AcGFP, or DsRedFP were recovered. The effects of the insertions on LC processing, RNA replication, and stability of the viral genome were analyzed, and the progression of a calicivirus single infection and co-infection were captured by real-time imaging fluorescent microscopy. The ability to engineer viable recombinant caliciviruses expressing foreign markers enables new approaches to investigate virus and host cell interactions, as well as studies of viral recombination, one of the driving forces of calicivirus evolution. PMID:20137802

  8. A Fluorogenic Red Fluorescent Protein Heterodimer

    PubMed Central

    Alford, Spencer C.; Abdelfattah, Ahmed S.; Ding, Yidan; Campbell, Robert E.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY The expanding repertoire of genetically encoded biosensors constructed from variants of Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein (GFP) enable the imaging of a variety of intracellular biochemical processes. To facilitate the imaging of multiple biosensors in a single cell, we undertook the development of a dimerization-dependent red fluorescent protein (ddRFP) that provides an alternative strategy for biosensor construction. An extensive process of rational engineering and directed protein evolution led to the discovery of a ddRFP with a Kd of 33 μM and a 10-fold increase in fluorescence upon heterodimer formation. We demonstrate that the dimerization-dependent fluorescence of ddRFP can be used for detection of a protein-protein interaction in vitro, imaging of the reversible Ca2+-dependent association of calmodulin and M13 in live cells, and imaging of caspase-3 activity during apoptosis. PMID:22444590

  9. Fluorescence lifetime imaging of coral fluorescent proteins.

    PubMed

    Cox, Guy; Matz, Mikhail; Salih, Anya

    2007-03-01

    Corals, like many other coelenterates, contain fluorescent pigments that show considerable homology with the well known green fluorescent protein of the jellyfish Aequoria. In corals, unlike jellyfish, multiple proteins are present and the range of excitations and emissions suggest the possibility of energy transfer. The occurrence of Förster resonant energy transfer (FRET) between fluorescent proteins in corals has already been reported and time-resolved spectra have shown the effect on fluorescent lifetime, but without any spatial resolution. Lifetime confocal microscopy offers lower time resolution but excellent spatial resolution. Lifetimes of the isolated A. millepora pigments amilFP490, amilFP504, and amilFP593 (names indicate emission peaks) were 2.8, 2.9, and 2.9 ns, respectively. In the coral sample, imaging the entire emission spectrum from 420 nm, the mean lifetime was reduced to 1.5 ns, implying that FRET was occurring. Looking just at the fluorescence from FRET donors the lifetime was even shorter, at 1.3 ns, supporting this interpretation. In contrast, no reduction in lifetime is seen in the coral Euphyllia ancora, where the pigment distribution also suggests that the pigments are unlikely to be involved in photoprotection. This study set out to determine the extent of FRET between pigments in two corals, Acropora millepora and Euphyllia, ancora which differ in the arrangement of their pigments and hence possibly in pigment function. PMID:17279514

  10. Protein- protein interaction detection system using fluorescent protein microdomains

    DOEpatents

    Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Cabantous, Stephanie

    2010-02-23

    The invention provides a protein labeling and interaction detection system based on engineered fragments of fluorescent and chromophoric proteins that require fused interacting polypeptides to drive the association of the fragments, and further are soluble and stable, and do not change the solubility of polypeptides to which they are fused. In one embodiment, a test protein X is fused to a sixteen amino acid fragment of GFP (.beta.-strand 10, amino acids 198-214), engineered to not perturb fusion protein solubility. A second test protein Y is fused to a sixteen amino acid fragment of GFP (.beta.-strand 11, amino acids 215-230), engineered to not perturb fusion protein solubility. When X and Y interact, they bring the GFP strands into proximity, and are detected by complementation with a third GFP fragment consisting of GFP amino acids 1-198 (strands 1-9). When GFP strands 10 and 11 are held together by interaction of protein X and Y, they spontaneous association with GFP strands 1-9, resulting in structural complementation, folding, and concomitant GFP fluorescence.

  11. Fixation-resistant photoactivatable fluorescent proteins for CLEM.

    PubMed

    Paez-Segala, Maria G; Sun, Mei G; Shtengel, Gleb; Viswanathan, Sarada; Baird, Michelle A; Macklin, John J; Patel, Ronak; Allen, John R; Howe, Elizabeth S; Piszczek, Grzegorz; Hess, Harald F; Davidson, Michael W; Wang, Yalin; Looger, Loren L

    2015-03-01

    Fluorescent proteins facilitate a variety of imaging paradigms in live and fixed samples. However, they lose their fluorescence after heavy fixation, hindering applications such as correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM). Here we report engineered variants of the photoconvertible Eos fluorescent protein that fluoresce and photoconvert normally in heavily fixed (0.5-1% OsO4), plastic resin-embedded samples, enabling correlative super-resolution fluorescence imaging and high-quality electron microscopy. PMID:25581799

  12. On the origin of fluorescence in bacteriophytochrome infrared fluorescent proteins

    PubMed Central

    Samma, Alex A.; Johnson, Chelsea K.; Song, Shuang; Alvarez, Samuel

    2010-01-01

    Tsien (Science, 2009, 324, 804-807) has recently reported the creation of the first infrared fluorescent protein (IFP). It was engineered from bacterial phytochrome by removing the PHY and histidine kinase-related domains, by optimizing the protein to prevent dimerization and by limiting the biliverdins conformational freedom, especially around its D ring. We have used database analyses and molecular dynamics simulations with freely rotating chromophoric dihedrals in order to model the dihedral freedom available to the biliverdin D ring in the excited state; to show that the tetrapyrrole ligands in phytochromes are flexible and can adopt many conformations, however their conformational space is limited/defined by the chemospatial characteristics of the protein cavity. Our simulations confirm that the reduced accessibility to conformations geared to an excited state proton transfer may be responsible for the fluorescence in IFP, just as has been suggested by Kennis (PNAS, 2010, 107, 9170-9175) for fluorescent bacteriophytochrome from Rhodopseudomonas palustris. PMID:21047084

  13. Green fluorescent protein glows gold.

    PubMed

    Miyawaki, Atsushi

    2008-12-12

    The awarding of this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie, and Roger Tsien for their discovery and development of green fluorescent protein earns this humble jellyfish protein a place of honor in the biology research hall of fame. PMID:19070562

  14. New component in protein fluorescence

    SciTech Connect

    Longworth, J W

    1980-01-01

    Tryptophyl residues in proteins absorb at longer wavelengths than tyrosyl residues and thus the tryptophyl fluorescence can be selectively excited. In addition, tryptophyl residues have a fluorescence maximum at much longer wavelengths than tyrosyl residues and are the predominant source of fluorescence at the long wavelength region. The contribution of tyrosyl fluorescence to protein fluorescence can be determined by exploiting these spectral properties. The tyrosyl fluorescence of native human serum albumin is different than the fluorescence of N-acetyl-L-tyrosinamide. The spectral maximum is at longer wavelength and the spectral width is greater. This is caused by a second component with a maximum at 345 nm. The excitation spectrum of the 345 nm component is similar to the excitation spectrum of the normal 304 nm tyrosyl component. The 345 nm is largely absent from denatured serum albumin. An excited singlet state protolysis from the buried tyrosyl residues explains the appearance of the 345 nm component. A possible acceptor base is an amino group of buried lysyl residue.

  15. Lasing from fluorescent protein crystals.

    PubMed

    Oh, Heon Jeong; Gather, Malte C; Song, Ji-Joon; Yun, Seok Hyun

    2014-12-15

    We investigated fluorescent protein crystals for potential photonic applications, for the first time to our knowledge. Rod-shaped crystals of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) were synthesized, with diameters of 0.5-2 μm and lengths of 100-200 μm. The crystals exhibit minimal light scattering due to their ordered structure and generate substantially higher fluorescence intensity than EGFP or dye molecules in solutions. The magnitude of concentration quenching in EGFP crystals was measured to be about 7-10 dB. Upon optical pumping at 485 nm, individual EGFP crystals located between dichroic mirrors generated laser emission with a single-mode spectral line at 513 nm. Our results demonstrate the potential of protein crystals as novel optical elements for self-assembled, micro- or nano-lasers and amplifiers in aqueous environment. PMID:25607090

  16. Going Viral with Fluorescent Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Costantini, Lindsey M.

    2015-01-01

    Many longstanding questions about dynamics of virus-cell interactions can be answered by combining fluorescence imaging techniques with fluorescent protein (FP) tagging strategies. Successfully creating a FP fusion with a cellular or viral protein of interest first requires selecting the appropriate FP. However, while viral architecture and cellular localization often dictate the suitability of a FP, a FP's chemical and physical properties must also be considered. Here, we discuss the challenges of and offer suggestions for identifying the optimal FPs for studying the cell biology of viruses. PMID:26202231

  17. Quantitative assessment of fluorescent proteins.

    PubMed

    Cranfill, Paula J; Sell, Brittney R; Baird, Michelle A; Allen, John R; Lavagnino, Zeno; de Gruiter, H Martijn; Kremers, Gert-Jan; Davidson, Michael W; Ustione, Alessandro; Piston, David W

    2016-07-01

    The advent of fluorescent proteins (FPs) for genetic labeling of molecules and cells has revolutionized fluorescence microscopy. Genetic manipulations have created a vast array of bright and stable FPs spanning blue to red spectral regions. Common to autofluorescent FPs is their tight β-barrel structure, which provides the rigidity and chemical environment needed for effectual fluorescence. Despite the common structure, each FP has unique properties. Thus, there is no single 'best' FP for every circumstance, and each FP has advantages and disadvantages. To guide decisions about which FP is right for a given application, we have quantitatively characterized the brightness, photostability, pH stability and monomeric properties of more than 40 FPs to enable straightforward and direct comparison between them. We focus on popular and/or top-performing FPs in each spectral region. PMID:27240257

  18. Fluorescent Protein Approaches in Alpha Herpesvirus Research.

    PubMed

    Hogue, Ian B; Bosse, Jens B; Engel, Esteban A; Scherer, Julian; Hu, Jiun-Ruey; Del Rio, Tony; Enquist, Lynn W

    2015-11-01

    In the nearly two decades since the popularization of green fluorescent protein (GFP), fluorescent protein-based methodologies have revolutionized molecular and cell biology, allowing us to literally see biological processes as never before. Naturally, this revolution has extended to virology in general, and to the study of alpha herpesviruses in particular. In this review, we provide a compendium of reported fluorescent protein fusions to herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and pseudorabies virus (PRV) structural proteins, discuss the underappreciated challenges of fluorescent protein-based approaches in the context of a replicating virus, and describe general strategies and best practices for creating new fluorescent fusions. We compare fluorescent protein methods to alternative approaches, and review two instructive examples of the caveats associated with fluorescent protein fusions, including describing several improved fluorescent capsid fusions in PRV. Finally, we present our future perspectives on the types of powerful experiments these tools now offer. PMID:26610544

  19. Fluorescent Protein Approaches in Alpha Herpesvirus Research

    PubMed Central

    Hogue, Ian B.; Bosse, Jens B.; Engel, Esteban A.; Scherer, Julian; Hu, Jiun-Ruey; del Rio, Tony; Enquist, Lynn W.

    2015-01-01

    In the nearly two decades since the popularization of green fluorescent protein (GFP), fluorescent protein-based methodologies have revolutionized molecular and cell biology, allowing us to literally see biological processes as never before. Naturally, this revolution has extended to virology in general, and to the study of alpha herpesviruses in particular. In this review, we provide a compendium of reported fluorescent protein fusions to herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and pseudorabies virus (PRV) structural proteins, discuss the underappreciated challenges of fluorescent protein-based approaches in the context of a replicating virus, and describe general strategies and best practices for creating new fluorescent fusions. We compare fluorescent protein methods to alternative approaches, and review two instructive examples of the caveats associated with fluorescent protein fusions, including describing several improved fluorescent capsid fusions in PRV. Finally, we present our future perspectives on the types of powerful experiments these tools now offer. PMID:26610544

  20. A Practical Teaching Course in Directed Protein Evolution Using the Green Fluorescent Protein as a Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruller, Roberto; Silva-Rocha, Rafael; Silva, Artur; Schneider, Maria Paula Cruz; Ward, Richard John

    2011-01-01

    Protein engineering is a powerful tool, which correlates protein structure with specific functions, both in applied biotechnology and in basic research. Here, we present a practical teaching course for engineering the green fluorescent protein (GFP) from "Aequorea victoria" by a random mutagenesis strategy using error-prone polymerase chain…

  1. Fluorescent sensors based on bacterial fusion proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prats Mateu, Batirtze; Kainz, Birgit; Pum, Dietmar; Sleytr, Uwe B.; Toca-Herrera, José L.

    2014-06-01

    Fluorescence proteins are widely used as markers for biomedical and technological purposes. Therefore, the aim of this project was to create a fluorescent sensor, based in the green and cyan fluorescent protein, using bacterial S-layers proteins as scaffold for the fluorescent tag. We report the cloning, expression and purification of three S-layer fluorescent proteins: SgsE-EGFP, SgsE-ECFP and SgsE-13aa-ECFP, this last containing a 13-amino acid rigid linker. The pH dependence of the fluorescence intensity of the S-layer fusion proteins, monitored by fluorescence spectroscopy, showed that the ECFP tag was more stable than EGFP. Furthermore, the fluorescent fusion proteins were reassembled on silica particles modified with cationic and anionic polyelectrolytes. Zeta potential measurements confirmed the particle coatings and indicated their colloidal stability. Flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy showed that the fluorescence of the fusion proteins was pH dependent and sensitive to the underlying polyelectrolyte coating. This might suggest that the fluorescent tag is not completely exposed to the bulk media as an independent moiety. Finally, it was found out that viscosity enhanced the fluorescence intensity of the three fluorescent S-layer proteins.

  2. Fluorescence lifetime distributions in proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Alcala, J. R.; Gratton, E.; Prendergast, F. G.

    1987-01-01

    The fluorescence lifetime value of tryptophan residues varies by more than a factor of 100 in different proteins and is determined by several factors, which include solvent exposure and interactions with other elements of the protein matrix. Because of the variety of different elements that can alter the lifetime value and the sensitivity to the particular environment of the tryptophan residue, it is likely that non-unique lifetime values result in protein systems. The emission decay of most proteins can be satisfactorily described only using several exponential components. Here it is proposed that continuous lifetime distributions can better represent the observed decay. An approach based on protein dynamics is presented, which provides fluorescence lifetime distribution functions for single tryptophan residue proteins. First, lifetime distributions for proteins interconverting between two conformations, each characterized by a different lifetime value, are derived. The evolution of the lifetime values as a function of the interconversion rate is studied. In this case lifetime distributions can be obtained from a distribution of rates of interconversion between the two conformations. Second, the existence of a continuum of energy substates within a given conformation was considered. The occupation of a particular energy substate at a given temperature is proportional to the Boltzmann factor. The density of energy states of the potential well depends upon the width of the well, which determines the degree of freedom the residue can move in the conformational space. Lifetime distributions can be obtained by association of each energy substate with a different lifetime value and assuming that the average conformation can change as the energy of the substate is increased. Finally, lifetime distributions for proteins interconverting between two conformations, each characterized by a quasi-continuum of energy substates, are presented. The origin of negative components

  3. Real-time PCR quantification of a green fluorescent protein-labeled, genetically engineered Pseudomonas putida strain during 2-chlorobenzoate degradation in soil.

    PubMed

    Wang, Gejiao; Gentry, Terry J; Grass, Gregor; Josephson, Karen; Rensing, Christopher; Pepper, Ian L

    2004-04-15

    The potential for real-time PCR (RTm-PCR) detection of the genetically engineered strain Pseudomonas putida GN2 was studied during 2-chlorobenzoate (2-CB) degradation in three different soils. The strain contained the constructed plasmid pGN2 which encoded genes for 2-CB oxidation (cbdA) and the green fluorescent protein (gfp). P. putida GN2 numbers were assessed by plating onto 2-CB minimal media and also by RTm-PCR detection of cbdA and gfp. Addition of P. putida GN2 decreased the time required to degrade 2-CB in all tested soils by more than 7 days. The RTm-PCR estimations of P. putida GN2 numbers strongly correlated with those obtained from plate count methods during active 2-CB degradation. However, after 2-CB degradation in the soils had ceased, RTm-PCR estimations of cbdA and gfp genes were generally one order of magnitude lower than those from plate counts. These results indicate the potential for RTm-PCR to rapidly determine degrader numbers in soil following bioaugmentation but also the need to exercise caution when attempting to determine cell numbers of degraders from the RTm-PCR quantification of plasmid encoded genes after substrate is depleted. PMID:15063501

  4. Molecular spies for bioimaging--fluorescent protein-based probes.

    PubMed

    Miyawaki, Atsushi; Niino, Yusuke

    2015-05-21

    Convergent advances in optical imaging and genetic engineering have fueled the development of new technologies for biological visualization. Those technologies include genetically encoded indicators based on fluorescent proteins (FPs) for imaging ions, molecules, and enzymatic activities "to spy on cells," as phrased by Roger Tsien, by sneaking into specific tissues, cell types, or subcellular compartments, and reporting on specific intracellular activities. Here we review the current range of unimolecular indicators whose working principle is the conversion of a protein conformational change into a fluorescence signal. Many of the indicators have been developed from fluorescence resonance energy transfer- and single-FP-based approaches. PMID:26000848

  5. Advanced Fluorescence Protein-Based Synapse-Detectors.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hojin; Oh, Won Chan; Seong, Jihye; Kim, Jinhyun

    2016-01-01

    The complex information-processing capabilities of the central nervous system emerge from intricate patterns of synaptic input-output relationships among various neuronal circuit components. Understanding these capabilities thus requires a precise description of the individual synapses that comprise neural networks. Recent advances in fluorescent protein engineering, along with developments in light-favoring tissue clearing and optical imaging techniques, have rendered light microscopy (LM) a potent candidate for large-scale analyses of synapses, their properties, and their connectivity. Optically imaging newly engineered fluorescent proteins (FPs) tagged to synaptic proteins or microstructures enables the efficient, fine-resolution illumination of synaptic anatomy and function in large neural circuits. Here we review the latest progress in fluorescent protein-based molecular tools for imaging individual synapses and synaptic connectivity. We also identify associated technologies in gene delivery, tissue processing, and computational image analysis that will play a crucial role in bridging the gap between synapse- and system-level neuroscience. PMID:27445785

  6. Advanced Fluorescence Protein-Based Synapse-Detectors

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hojin; Oh, Won Chan; Seong, Jihye; Kim, Jinhyun

    2016-01-01

    The complex information-processing capabilities of the central nervous system emerge from intricate patterns of synaptic input-output relationships among various neuronal circuit components. Understanding these capabilities thus requires a precise description of the individual synapses that comprise neural networks. Recent advances in fluorescent protein engineering, along with developments in light-favoring tissue clearing and optical imaging techniques, have rendered light microscopy (LM) a potent candidate for large-scale analyses of synapses, their properties, and their connectivity. Optically imaging newly engineered fluorescent proteins (FPs) tagged to synaptic proteins or microstructures enables the efficient, fine-resolution illumination of synaptic anatomy and function in large neural circuits. Here we review the latest progress in fluorescent protein-based molecular tools for imaging individual synapses and synaptic connectivity. We also identify associated technologies in gene delivery, tissue processing, and computational image analysis that will play a crucial role in bridging the gap between synapse- and system-level neuroscience. PMID:27445785

  7. Fluorescence dynamics of green fluorescent protein in AOT reversed micelles.

    PubMed

    Uskova, M A; Borst, J W; Hink, M A; van Hoek, A; Schots, A; Klyachko, N L; Visser, A J

    2000-09-15

    We have used the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) to investigate the properties of surfactant-entrapped water pools in organic solvents (reversed micelles) with steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence methods. The surfactant used was sodium bis(2-ethylhexyl)sulfosuccinate (AOT) and the organic solvents were isooctane and (the more viscous) dodecane, respectively. The water content of the water pools could be controlled through the parameter w0, which is the water-to-surfactant molar ratio. With steady-state fluorescence, it was observed that subtle fluorescence changes could be noted in reversed micelles of different water contents. EGFP can be used as a pH-indicator of the water droplets in reversed micelles. Time-resolved fluorescence methods also revealed subtle changes in fluorescence decay times when the results in bulk water were compared with those in reversed micelles. The average fluorescence lifetimes of EGFP scaled with the relative fluorescence intensities. Time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy of EGFP in aqueous solution and reversed micelles yielded single rotational correlation times. Geometrical considerations could assign the observed correlation times to dehydrated protein at low w0 and internal EGFP rotation within the droplet at the highest w0. PMID:11036971

  8. Engineering therapeutic protein disaggregases.

    PubMed

    Shorter, James

    2016-05-15

    Therapeutic agents are urgently required to cure several common and fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by protein misfolding and aggregation, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Protein disaggregases that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native structure, function, and localization could mitigate neurodegeneration by simultaneously reversing 1) any toxic gain of function of the misfolded form and 2) any loss of function due to misfolding. Potentiated variants of Hsp104, a hexameric AAA+ ATPase and protein disaggregase from yeast, have been engineered to robustly disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with ALS (e.g., TDP-43 and FUS) and PD (e.g., α-synuclein). However, Hsp104 has no metazoan homologue. Metazoa possess protein disaggregase systems distinct from Hsp104, including Hsp110, Hsp70, and Hsp40, as well as HtrA1, which might be harnessed to reverse deleterious protein misfolding. Nevertheless, vicissitudes of aging, environment, or genetics conspire to negate these disaggregase systems in neurodegenerative disease. Thus, engineering potentiated human protein disaggregases or isolating small-molecule enhancers of their activity could yield transformative therapeutics for ALS, PD, and AD. PMID:27255695

  9. Engineering therapeutic protein disaggregases

    PubMed Central

    Shorter, James

    2016-01-01

    Therapeutic agents are urgently required to cure several common and fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by protein misfolding and aggregation, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Protein disaggregases that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native structure, function, and localization could mitigate neurodegeneration by simultaneously reversing 1) any toxic gain of function of the misfolded form and 2) any loss of function due to misfolding. Potentiated variants of Hsp104, a hexameric AAA+ ATPase and protein disaggregase from yeast, have been engineered to robustly disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with ALS (e.g., TDP-43 and FUS) and PD (e.g., α-synuclein). However, Hsp104 has no metazoan homologue. Metazoa possess protein disaggregase systems distinct from Hsp104, including Hsp110, Hsp70, and Hsp40, as well as HtrA1, which might be harnessed to reverse deleterious protein misfolding. Nevertheless, vicissitudes of aging, environment, or genetics conspire to negate these disaggregase systems in neurodegenerative disease. Thus, engineering potentiated human protein disaggregases or isolating small-molecule enhancers of their activity could yield transformative therapeutics for ALS, PD, and AD. PMID:27255695

  10. Photocontrollable Fluorescent Proteins for Superresolution Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Sengupta, Prabuddha; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2014-01-01

    Superresolution fluorescence microscopy permits the study of biological processes at scales small enough to visualize fine subcellular structures that are unresolvable by traditional diffraction-limited light microscopy. Many superresolution techniques, including those applicable to live cell imaging, utilize genetically encoded photocontrollable fluorescent proteins. The fluorescence of these proteins can be controlled by light of specific wavelengths. In this review, we discuss the biochemical and photophysical properties of photocontrollable fluorescent proteins that are relevant to their use in superresolution microscopy. We then describe the recently developed photoactivatable, photoswitchable, and reversibly photoswitchable fluorescent proteins, and we detail their particular usefulness in single-molecule localization–based and nonlinear ensemble–based superresolution techniques. Finally, we discuss recent applications of photocontrollable proteins in superresolution imaging, as well as how these applications help to clarify properties of intracellular structures and processes that are relevant to cell and developmental biology, neuroscience, cancer biology and biomedicine. PMID:24895855

  11. Fluorescent protein methods: strategies and applications.

    PubMed

    Hutter, Harald

    2012-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins such as the "green fluorescent protein" (GFP) are popular tools in Caenorhabditis elegans, because as genetically encoded markers they are easy to introduce. Furthermore, they can be used in a living animal without the need for extensive sample preparation, because C. elegans is transparent and small enough so that entire animals can be imaged directly. Consequently, fluorescent proteins have emerged as the method of choice to study gene expression in C. elegans and reporter constructs for thousands of genes are currently available. When fused to a protein of interest, fluorescent proteins allow the imaging of its subcellular localization in vivo, offering a powerful alternative to antibody staining techniques. Fluorescent proteins can be employed to label cellular and subcellular structures and as indicators for cell physiological parameters like calcium concentration. Genetic screens relying on fluorescent proteins to visualize anatomical structures and recent progress in automation techniques have tremendously expanded their potential uses. This chapter presents tools and techniques related to the use of fluorescent proteins, discusses their advantages and shortcomings, and provides practical considerations for various applications. PMID:22226521

  12. Engineered Proteins for Bioelectrochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akram, Muhammad Safwan; Rehman, Jawad Ur; Hall, Elizabeth A. H.

    2014-06-01

    It is only in the past two decades that excellent protein engineering tools have begun to meet parallel advances in materials chemistry, nanofabrication, and electronics. This is revealing scenarios from which synthetic enzymes can emerge, which were previously impossible, as well as interfaces with novel electrode materials. That means the control of the protein structure, electron transport pathway, and electrode surface can usher us into a new era of bioelectrochemistry. This article reviews the principle of electron transfer (ET) and considers how its application at the electrode, within the protein, and at a redox group is directing key advances in the understanding of protein structure to create systems that exhibit better efficiency and unique bioelectrochemistry.

  13. Green fluorescent protein nanopolygons as monodisperse supramolecular assemblies of functional proteins with defined valency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Young Eun; Kim, Yu-Na; Kim, Jung A.; Kim, Ho Min; Jung, Yongwon

    2015-05-01

    Supramolecular protein assemblies offer novel nanoscale architectures with molecular precision and unparalleled functional diversity. A key challenge, however, is to create precise nano-assemblies of functional proteins with both defined structures and a controlled number of protein-building blocks. Here we report a series of supramolecular green fluorescent protein oligomers that are assembled in precise polygonal geometries and prepared in a monodisperse population. Green fluorescent protein is engineered to be self-assembled in cells into oligomeric assemblies that are natively separated in a single-protein resolution by surface charge manipulation, affording monodisperse protein (nano)polygons from dimer to decamer. Several functional proteins are multivalently displayed on the oligomers with controlled orientations. Spatial arrangements of protein oligomers and displayed functional proteins are directly visualized by a transmission electron microscope. By employing our functional protein assemblies, we provide experimental insight into multivalent protein-protein interactions and tools to manipulate receptor clustering on live cell surfaces.

  14. Mapping membrane protein structure with fluorescence

    PubMed Central

    Taraska, Justin W.

    2012-01-01

    Membrane proteins regulate many cellular processes including signaling cascades, ion transport, membrane fusion, and cell-to-cell communications. Understanding the architecture and conformational fluctuations of these proteins is critical to understanding their regulation and functions. Fluorescence methods including intensity mapping, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, and photo-induced electron transfer, allow for targeted measurements of domains within membrane proteins. These methods can reveal how a protein is structured and how it transitions between different conformational states. Here, I will review recent work done using fluorescence to map the structures of membrane proteins, focusing on how each of these methods can be applied to understanding the dynamic nature of individual membrane proteins and protein complexes. PMID:22445227

  15. Trace fluorescent labeling for protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Pusey, Marc; Barcena, Jorge; Morris, Michelle; Singhal, Anuj; Yuan, Qunying; Ng, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Fluorescence can be a powerful tool to aid in the crystallization of proteins. In the trace-labeling approach, the protein is covalently derivatized with a high-quantum-yield visible-wavelength fluorescent probe. The final probe concentration typically labels ≤0.20% of the protein molecules, which has been shown to not affect the crystal nucleation or diffraction quality. The labeled protein is then used in a plate-screening experiment in the usual manner. As the most densely packed state of the protein is the crystalline form, then crystals show as the brightest objects in the well under fluorescent illumination. A study has been carried out on the effects of trace fluorescent labeling on the screening results obtained compared with nonlabeled protein, and it was found that considering the stochastic nature of the crystal nucleation process the presence of the probe did not affect the outcomes obtained. Other effects are realised when using fluorescence. Crystals are clearly seen even when buried in precipitate. This approach also finds ‘hidden’ leads, in the form of bright spots, with ∼30% of the leads found being optimized to crystals in a single-pass optimization trial. The use of visible fluorescence also enables the selection of colors that bypass interfering substances, and the screening materials do not have to be UV-transparent. PMID:26144224

  16. Protein subcellular localization assays using split fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Cabantous, Stephanie

    2009-09-08

    The invention provides protein subcellular localization assays using split fluorescent protein systems. The assays are conducted in living cells, do not require fixation and washing steps inherent in existing immunostaining and related techniques, and permit rapid, non-invasive, direct visualization of protein localization in living cells. The split fluorescent protein systems used in the practice of the invention generally comprise two or more self-complementing fragments of a fluorescent protein, such as GFP, wherein one or more of the fragments correspond to one or more beta-strand microdomains and are used to "tag" proteins of interest, and a complementary "assay" fragment of the fluorescent protein. Either or both of the fragments may be functionalized with a subcellular targeting sequence enabling it to be expressed in or directed to a particular subcellular compartment (i.e., the nucleus).

  17. Hydrogels Constructed from Engineered Proteins.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongbin; Kong, Na; Laver, Bryce; Liu, Junqiu

    2016-02-24

    Due to their various potential biomedical applications, hydrogels based on engineered proteins have attracted considerable interest. Benefitting from significant progress in recombinant DNA technology and protein engineering/design techniques, the field of protein hydrogels has made amazing progress. The latest progress of hydrogels constructed from engineered recombinant proteins are presented, mainly focused on biorecognition-driven physical hydrogels as well as chemically crosslinked hydrogels. The various bio-recognition based physical crosslinking strategies are discussed, as well as chemical crosslinking chemistries used to engineer protein hydrogels, and protein hydrogels' various biomedical applications. The future perspectives of this fast evolving field of biomaterials are also discussed. PMID:26707834

  18. Dynamic nuclear protein interactions investigated using fluorescence lifetime and fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegel, Amanda P.; Hays, Nicole M.; Day, Richard N.

    2012-03-01

    The discovery and engineering of novel fluorescent proteins (FPs) from diverse organisms is yielding fluorophores with exceptional characteristics for live-cell imaging. In particular, the development of FPs for Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy and fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy (FFS) provide important tools for monitoring dynamic protein interactions inside living cells. Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) quantitatively maps changes in the spatial distribution of donor FP lifetimes that result from FRET with acceptor FPs. FFS probes dynamic protein associations through its capacity to monitor localized protein diffusion. Here, we use FRET-FLIM combined with FFS in living cells to investigate changes in protein mobility due to protein-protein interactions involving transcription factors and chromatin modifying proteins that function in anterior pituitary gene regulation. The heterochromatin protein 1 alpha (HP1α) plays a key role in the establishment and maintenance of heterochromatin through its interactions with histone methyltransferases. Recent studies, however, also highlight the importance of HP1α as a positive regulator of active transcription in euchromatin. Intriguingly, we observed that the transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPα) interacts with HP1α in regions of pericentromeric heterochromatin in mouse pituitary cells. These observations prompted us to investigate the relationship between HP1α dynamic interactions in pituitary specific gene regulation.

  19. Trace fluorescent labeling for protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Pusey, Marc Barcena, Jorge; Morris, Michelle; Singhal, Anuj; Yuan, Qunying; Ng, Joseph

    2015-06-27

    The presence of a covalently bound fluorescent probe at a concentration of <0.5% does not affect the outcome of macromolecule crystallization screening experiments. Additionally, the fluorescence can be used to determine new, not immediately apparent, lead crystallization conditions. Fluorescence can be a powerful tool to aid in the crystallization of proteins. In the trace-labeling approach, the protein is covalently derivatized with a high-quantum-yield visible-wavelength fluorescent probe. The final probe concentration typically labels ≤0.20% of the protein molecules, which has been shown to not affect the crystal nucleation or diffraction quality. The labeled protein is then used in a plate-screening experiment in the usual manner. As the most densely packed state of the protein is the crystalline form, then crystals show as the brightest objects in the well under fluorescent illumination. A study has been carried out on the effects of trace fluorescent labeling on the screening results obtained compared with nonlabeled protein, and it was found that considering the stochastic nature of the crystal nucleation process the presence of the probe did not affect the outcomes obtained. Other effects are realised when using fluorescence. Crystals are clearly seen even when buried in precipitate. This approach also finds ‘hidden’ leads, in the form of bright spots, with ∼30% of the leads found being optimized to crystals in a single-pass optimization trial. The use of visible fluorescence also enables the selection of colors that bypass interfering substances, and the screening materials do not have to be UV-transparent.

  20. A naturally monomeric infrared fluorescent protein for protein labeling in vivo.

    PubMed

    Yu, Dan; Baird, Michelle A; Allen, John R; Howe, Elizabeth S; Klassen, Matthew P; Reade, Anna; Makhijani, Kalpana; Song, Yuanquan; Liu, Songmei; Murthy, Zehra; Zhang, Shao-Qing; Weiner, Orion D; Kornberg, Thomas B; Jan, Yuh-Nung; Davidson, Michael W; Shu, Xiaokun

    2015-08-01

    Infrared fluorescent proteins (IFPs) provide an additional color to GFP and its homologs in protein labeling. Drawing on structural analysis of the dimer interface, we identified a bacteriophytochrome in the sequence database that is monomeric in truncated form and engineered it into a naturally monomeric IFP (mIFP). We demonstrate that mIFP correctly labels proteins in live cells, Drosophila and zebrafish. It should be useful in molecular, cell and developmental biology. PMID:26098020

  1. A naturally-monomeric infrared fluorescent protein for protein labeling in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Dan; Baird, Michelle A.; Allen, John R.; Howe, Elizabeth S.; Klassen, Matthew P.; Reade, Anna; Makhijani, Kalpana; Song, Yuanquan; Liu, Songmei; Murthy, Zehra; Zhang, Shao-Qing; Weiner, Orion D.; Kornberg, Thomas B.; Jan, Yuh-Nung; Davidson, Michael W.; Shu, Xiaokun

    2015-01-01

    Infrared fluorescent proteins (IFPs) provide an additional color to GFP and its red homologs in protein labeling. Based on structural analysis of the dimer interface, a monomeric bateriophytochrome is identified from a sequence database, and is engineered into a naturally-monomeric IFP (mIFP). We demonstrate that mIFP correctly labels proteins in live Drosophila and zebrafish requiring no exogenous cofactor, and will thus be useful in molecular, cell and developmental biology. PMID:26098020

  2. Characterization of Flavin-Based Fluorescent Proteins: An Emerging Class of Fluorescent Reporters

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Arnab; Schroeder, Charles M.

    2013-01-01

    Fluorescent reporter proteins based on flavin-binding photosensors were recently developed as a new class of genetically encoded probes characterized by small size and oxygen-independent maturation of fluorescence. Flavin-based fluorescent proteins (FbFPs) address two major limitations associated with existing fluorescent reporters derived from the green fluorescent protein (GFP)–namely, the overall large size and oxygen-dependent maturation of fluorescence of GFP. However, FbFPs are at a nascent stage of development and have been utilized in only a handful of biological studies. Importantly, a full understanding of the performance and properties of FbFPs as a practical set of biological probes is lacking. In this work, we extensively characterize three FbFPs isolated from Pseudomonas putida, Bacillus subtilis, and Arabidopsis thaliana, using in vitro studies to assess probe brightness, oligomeric state, maturation time, fraction of fluorescent holoprotein, pH tolerance, redox sensitivity, and thermal stability. Furthermore, we validate FbFPs as stable molecular tags using in vivo studies by constructing a series of FbFP-based transcriptional constructs to probe promoter activity in Escherichia coli. Overall, FbFPs show key advantages as broad-spectrum biological reporters including robust pH tolerance (4–11), thermal stability (up to 60°C), and rapid maturation of fluorescence (<3 min.). In addition, the FbFP derived from Arabidopsis thaliana (iLOV) emerged as a stable and nonperturbative reporter of promoter activity in Escherichia coli. Our results demonstrate that FbFP-based reporters have the potential to address key limitations associated with the use of GFP, such as pH-sensitive fluorescence and slow kinetics of fluorescence maturation (10–40 minutes for half maximal fluorescence recovery). From this view, FbFPs represent a useful new addition to the fluorescent reporter protein palette, and our results constitute an important framework to enable

  3. Protein biosensing with fluorescent microcapillaries.

    PubMed

    Lane, S; West, P; François, A; Meldrum, A

    2015-02-01

    Capillaries with a high-index fluorescent coating represent a new type of whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) microcavity sensor. By coating silicon quantum dots (Si-QDs) onto the channel wall of a microcapillary, a cylindrical microcavity forms in which the optical confinement arises from the index contrast at the interface between the QD layer and the glass capillary wall. However, the ability to functionalize the QD layer for biosensing applications is an open question, since the layer consists of a mixture of Si-QDs embedded in a glassy SiOx matrix. Here, we employ a polyelectrolyte (PE) multilayer approach to functionalize the microcapillary inner surface and demonstrate the potential of this refractive index sensing platform for label-free biosensing applications, using biotin-neutravidin as a specific interaction model. PMID:25836122

  4. Fixation-resistant photoactivatable fluorescent proteins for correlative light and electron microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Paez Segala, Maria G.; Sun, Mei G.; Shtengel, Gleb; Viswanathan, Sarada; Baird, Michelle A.; Macklin, John J.; Patel, Ronak; Allen, John R.; Howe, Elizabeth S.; Piszczek, Grzegorz; Hess, Harald F.; Davidson, Michael W.; Wang, Yalin; Looger, Loren L.

    2014-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins facilitate a variety of imaging paradigms in live and fixed samples. However, they cease to function following heavy fixation, hindering advanced applications such as correlative light and electron microscopy. Here we report engineered variants of the photoconvertible Eos fluorescent protein that function normally in heavily fixed (0.5–1% OsO4), plastic resin-embedded samples, enabling correlative super-resolution fluorescence imaging and high-quality electron microscopy. PMID:25581799

  5. On the Design of Low-Cost Fluorescent Protein Biosensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolosa, Leah

    Proteins are the cell’s workhorses as they are involved in essentially all cellular activities. From the birth of a daughter cell until its death during apoptosis, proteins perform various functions as needed. Such versatility can be attributed to the seemingly infinite ways that the amino acids are sequenced in a polypeptide. The polypeptide backbone and each amino acid functional group contribute unique intermolecular interactions that determine the protein’s shape and size. However, more importantly, these interactions determine protein function, that is, its ability to interact with the external environment. For the same reasons, proteins make ideal biorecognition elements for sensors (see below and Fig. 1). Protein enzymes and receptors developed unmatched sensitivity and selectivity for their substrates through millions of years of natural selection. In contrast, chemically synthesized artificial receptors seldom approach the same level of sophistication in ligand selectivity, sensitivity range and ease of production. In addition, there is available to the sensor researcher an ever expanding library of proteins for various ligands important in all manner of application such as disease biomarkers, toxins, contaminants, drugs, etc. Using tools of genetic engineering, researchers can even go beyond known existing wild type proteins by introducing useful functional groups thereby tuning or even altering protein sensitivity and selectivity. This can be done by mutagenesis and directed evolution or by incorporation of unnatural amino acids during translation. Additionally, genes for the protein of interest can be inserted in vectors predesigned with handles for affinity purification or immobilization on a surface. Recombinant proteins can then be produced in large amounts in appropriate cellular hosts with very high reproducibility. In addition, chemical reactions involving the amino acids have become standard protocols. Thus, there are thousands of dyes

  6. Imaging Intracellular Fluorescent Proteins at Nanometer Resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Betzig, Eric; Patterson, George H.; Sougrat, Rachid; Lindwasser, O. Wolf; Olenych, Scott; Bonifacino, Juan S.; Davidson, Michael W.; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer; Hess, Harald F.

    2006-09-01

    We introduce a method for optically imaging intracellular proteins at nanometer spatial resolution. Numerous sparse subsets of photoactivatable fluorescent protein molecules were activated, localized (to ~2 to 25 nanometers), and then bleached. The aggregate position information from all subsets was then assembled into a superresolution image. We used this method-termed photoactivated localization microscopy-to image specific target proteins in thin sections of lysosomes and mitochondria; in fixed whole cells, we imaged vinculin at focal adhesions, actin within a lamellipodium, and the distribution of the retroviral protein Gag at the plasma membrane.

  7. Modern fluorescent proteins: from chromophore formation to novel intracellular applications

    PubMed Central

    Stepanenko, Olesya V.; Stepanenko, Olga V.; Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Kuznetsova, Irina M.; Turoverov, Konstantin K.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2015-01-01

    The diverse biochemical and photophysical properties of fluorescent proteins (FPs) have enabled the generation of a growing palette of colors, providing unique opportunities for their use in a variety of modern biology applications. Modulation of these FP characteristics is achieved through diversity in both the structure of the chromophore as well as the contacts between the chromophore and the surrounding protein barrel. Here we review our current knowledge of blue, green, and red chromophore formation in permanently emitting FPs, photoactivatable FPs, and fluorescent timers. Progress in understanding the interplay between FP structure and function has allowed the engineering of FPs with many desirable features, and enabled recent advances in microscopy techniques such as super-resolution imaging of single molecules, imaging of protein dynamics, photochromic FRET, deep-tissue imaging, and multicolor two-photon microscopy in live animals. PMID:22054544

  8. Expression-Enhanced Fluorescent Proteins Based on Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein for Super-resolution Microscopy.

    PubMed

    Duwé, Sam; De Zitter, Elke; Gielen, Vincent; Moeyaert, Benjamien; Vandenberg, Wim; Grotjohann, Tim; Clays, Koen; Jakobs, Stefan; Van Meervelt, Luc; Dedecker, Peter

    2015-10-27

    "Smart fluorophores", such as reversibly switchable fluorescent proteins, are crucial for advanced fluorescence imaging. However, only a limited number of such labels is available, and many display reduced biological performance compared to more classical variants. We present the development of robustly photoswitchable variants of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), named rsGreens, that display up to 30-fold higher fluorescence in E. coli colonies grown at 37 °C and more than 4-fold higher fluorescence when expressed in HEK293T cells compared to their ancestor protein rsEGFP. This enhancement is not due to an intrinsic increase in the fluorescence brightness of the probes, but rather due to enhanced expression levels that allow many more probe molecules to be functional at any given time. We developed rsGreens displaying a range of photoswitching kinetics and show how these can be used for multimodal diffraction-unlimited fluorescence imaging such as pcSOFI and RESOLFT, achieving a spatial resolution of ∼70 nm. By determining the first ever crystal structures of a negative reversibly switchable FP derived from Aequorea victoria in both the "on"- and "off"-conformation we were able to confirm the presence of a cis-trans isomerization and provide further insights into the mechanisms underlying the photochromism. Our work demonstrates that genetically encoded "smart fluorophores" can be readily optimized for biological performance and provides a practical strategy for developing maturation- and stability-enhanced photochromic fluorescent proteins. PMID:26308583

  9. Incomplete proteasomal degradation of green fluorescent proteins in the context of tandem fluorescent protein timers.

    PubMed

    Khmelinskii, Anton; Meurer, Matthias; Ho, Chi-Ting; Besenbeck, Birgit; Füller, Julia; Lemberg, Marius K; Bukau, Bernd; Mogk, Axel; Knop, Michael

    2016-01-15

    Tandem fluorescent protein timers (tFTs) report on protein age through time-dependent change in color, which can be exploited to study protein turnover and trafficking. Each tFT, composed of two fluorescent proteins (FPs) that differ in maturation kinetics, is suited to follow protein dynamics within a specific time range determined by the maturation rates of both FPs. So far, tFTs have been constructed by combining slower-maturing red fluorescent proteins (redFPs) with the faster-maturing superfolder green fluorescent protein (sfGFP). Toward a comprehensive characterization of tFTs, we compare here tFTs composed of different faster-maturing green fluorescent proteins (greenFPs) while keeping the slower-maturing redFP constant (mCherry). Our results indicate that the greenFP maturation kinetics influences the time range of a tFT. Moreover, we observe that commonly used greenFPs can partially withstand proteasomal degradation due to the stability of the FP fold, which results in accumulation of tFT fragments in the cell. Depending on the order of FPs in the timer, incomplete proteasomal degradation either shifts the time range of the tFT toward slower time scales or precludes its use for measurements of protein turnover. We identify greenFPs that are efficiently degraded by the proteasome and provide simple guidelines for the design of new tFTs. PMID:26609072

  10. Incomplete proteasomal degradation of green fluorescent proteins in the context of tandem fluorescent protein timers

    PubMed Central

    Khmelinskii, Anton; Meurer, Matthias; Ho, Chi-Ting; Besenbeck, Birgit; Füller, Julia; Lemberg, Marius K.; Bukau, Bernd; Mogk, Axel; Knop, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Tandem fluorescent protein timers (tFTs) report on protein age through time-dependent change in color, which can be exploited to study protein turnover and trafficking. Each tFT, composed of two fluorescent proteins (FPs) that differ in maturation kinetics, is suited to follow protein dynamics within a specific time range determined by the maturation rates of both FPs. So far, tFTs have been constructed by combining slower-maturing red fluorescent proteins (redFPs) with the faster-maturing superfolder green fluorescent protein (sfGFP). Toward a comprehensive characterization of tFTs, we compare here tFTs composed of different faster-maturing green fluorescent proteins (greenFPs) while keeping the slower-maturing redFP constant (mCherry). Our results indicate that the greenFP maturation kinetics influences the time range of a tFT. Moreover, we observe that commonly used greenFPs can partially withstand proteasomal degradation due to the stability of the FP fold, which results in accumulation of tFT fragments in the cell. Depending on the order of FPs in the timer, incomplete proteasomal degradation either shifts the time range of the tFT toward slower time scales or precludes its use for measurements of protein turnover. We identify greenFPs that are efficiently degraded by the proteasome and provide simple guidelines for the design of new tFTs. PMID:26609072

  11. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystal Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Sumida, John

    2000-01-01

    One of the most powerful and versatile methods for studying molecules in solution is fluorescence. Crystallization typically takes place in a concentrated solution environment, whereas fluorescence typically has an upper concentration limit of approximately 1 x 10(exp -5)M, thus intrinsic fluorescence cannot be employed, but a fluorescent probe must be added to a sub population of the molecules. However the fluorescent species cannot interfere with the self-assembly process. This can be achieved with macromolecules, where fluorescent probes can be covalently attached to a sub population of molecules that are subsequently used to track the system as a whole. We are using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to study the initial solution phase self-assembly process of tetragonal lysozyme crystal nucleation, using covalent fluorescent derivatives which crystallize in the characteristic P432121 space group. FRET studies are being carried out between cascade blue (CB-lys, donor, Ex 376 nm, Em 420 nm) and lucifer yellow (LY-lys, acceptor, Ex 425 nm, Em 520 nm) asp101 derivatives. The estimated R0 for this probe pair, the distance where 50% of the donor energy is transferred to the acceptor, is approximately 1.2 nm, compared to 2.2 nm between the side chain carboxyls of adjacent asp101's in the crystalline 43 helix. The short CB-lys lifetime (approximately 5 ns), coupled with the large average distances between the molecules ((sup 3) 50 nm) in solution, ensure that any energy transfer observed is not due to random diffusive interactions. Addition of LY-lys to CB-lys results in the appearance of a second, shorter lifetime (approximately 0.2 ns). Results from these and other ongoing studies will be discussed in conjunction with a model for how tetragonal lysozyme crystals nucleate and grow, and the relevance of that model to microgravity protein crystal growth

  12. Intracellular targeting with engineered proteins.

    PubMed

    Miersch, Shane; Sidhu, Sachdev S

    2016-01-01

    If the isolation, production, and clinical use of insulin marked the inception of the age of biologics as therapeutics, the convergence of molecular biology and combinatorial engineering techniques marked its coming of age. The first wave of recombinant protein-based drugs in the 1980s demonstrated emphatically that proteins could be engineered, formulated, and employed for clinical advantage. Yet despite the successes of protein-based drugs such as antibodies, enzymes, and cytokines, the druggable target space for biologics is currently restricted to targets outside the cell. Insofar as estimates place the number of proteins either secreted or with extracellular domains in the range of 8000 to 9000, this represents only one-third of the proteome and circumscribes the pathways that can be targeted for therapeutic intervention. Clearly, a major objective for this field to reach maturity is to access, interrogate, and modulate the majority of proteins found inside the cell. However, owing to the large size, complex architecture, and general cellular impermeability of existing protein-based drugs, this poses a daunting challenge. In recent years, though, advances on the two related fronts of protein engineering and drug delivery are beginning to bring this goal within reach. First, prompted by the restrictions that limit the applicability of antibodies, intense efforts have been applied to identifying and engineering smaller alternative protein scaffolds for the modulation of intracellular targets. In parallel, innovative solutions for delivering proteins to the intracellular space while maintaining their stability and functional activity have begun to yield successes. This review provides an overview of bioactive intrabodies and alternative protein scaffolds amenable to engineering for intracellular targeting and also outlines advances in protein engineering and formulation for delivery of functional proteins to the interior of the cell to achieve therapeutic action

  13. Intracellular targeting with engineered proteins

    PubMed Central

    Miersch, Shane; Sidhu, Sachdev S.

    2016-01-01

    If the isolation, production, and clinical use of insulin marked the inception of the age of biologics as therapeutics, the convergence of molecular biology and combinatorial engineering techniques marked its coming of age. The first wave of recombinant protein-based drugs in the 1980s demonstrated emphatically that proteins could be engineered, formulated, and employed for clinical advantage. Yet despite the successes of protein-based drugs such as antibodies, enzymes, and cytokines, the druggable target space for biologics is currently restricted to targets outside the cell. Insofar as estimates place the number of proteins either secreted or with extracellular domains in the range of 8000 to 9000, this represents only one-third of the proteome and circumscribes the pathways that can be targeted for therapeutic intervention. Clearly, a major objective for this field to reach maturity is to access, interrogate, and modulate the majority of proteins found inside the cell. However, owing to the large size, complex architecture, and general cellular impermeability of existing protein-based drugs, this poses a daunting challenge. In recent years, though, advances on the two related fronts of protein engineering and drug delivery are beginning to bring this goal within reach. First, prompted by the restrictions that limit the applicability of antibodies, intense efforts have been applied to identifying and engineering smaller alternative protein scaffolds for the modulation of intracellular targets. In parallel, innovative solutions for delivering proteins to the intracellular space while maintaining their stability and functional activity have begun to yield successes. This review provides an overview of bioactive intrabodies and alternative protein scaffolds amenable to engineering for intracellular targeting and also outlines advances in protein engineering and formulation for delivery of functional proteins to the interior of the cell to achieve therapeutic action

  14. Recent progress in design of protein-based fluorescent biosensors and their cellular applications.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Tomonori; Hamachi, Itaru

    2014-12-19

    Protein-based fluorescent biosensors have emerged as key bioanalytical tools to visualize and quantify a wide range of biological substances and events in vitro, in cells, and even in vivo. On the basis of the construction method, the protein-based fluorescent biosensors can be principally classified into two classes: (1) genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors harnessing fluorescent proteins (FPs) and (2) semisynthetic biosensors comprised of protein scaffolds and synthetic fluorophores. Recent advances in protein engineering and chemical biology not only allowed the further optimization of conventional biosensors but also facilitated the creation of novel biosensors based on unique strategies. In this review, we survey the recent studies in the development and improvement of protein-based fluorescent biosensors and highlight the successful applications to live cell and in vivo imaging. Furthermore, we provide perspectives on possible future directions of the technique. PMID:25317665

  15. Directed molecular evolution to design advanced red fluorescent proteins

    PubMed Central

    Subach, Fedor V; Piatkevich, Kiryl D; Verkhusha, Vladislav V

    2015-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins have become indispensable imaging tools for biomedical research. continuing progress in fluorescence imaging, however, requires probes with additional colors and properties optimized for emerging techniques. Here we summarize strategies for development of red-shifted fluorescent proteins. We discuss possibilities for knowledge-based rational design based on the photochemistry of fluorescent proteins and the position of the chromophore in protein structure. We consider advances in library design by mutagenesis, protein expression systems and instrumentation for high-throughput screening that should yield improved fluorescent proteins for advanced imaging applications. PMID:22127219

  16. High-order fluorescence fluctuation analysis of model protein clusters.

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, A G; Thompson, N L

    1989-01-01

    The technique of high-order fluorescence fluctuation autocorrelation for detecting and characterizing protein oligomers was applied to solutions containing two fluorescent proteins in which the more fluorescent proteins were analogues for clusters of the less fluorescent ones. The results show that the model protein clusters can be detected for average numbers of observed subunits (free monomers plus monomers in oligomers) equal to 10-100 and for relative fluorescent yields that correspond to oligomers as small as trimers. High-order fluorescent fluctuation analysis may therefore be applicable to cell surface receptor clusters in natural or model membranes. PMID:2548201

  17. Protein sensing with engineered protein nanopores*

    PubMed Central

    Mohammad, Mohammad M.; Movileanu, Liviu

    2013-01-01

    The use of nanopores is a powerful new frontier in single-molecule sciences. Nanopores have been used effectively in exploring various biophysical features of small polypeptides and proteins, such as their folding state and structure, ligand interactions, and enzymatic activity. In particular, the α-hemolysin protein pore (αHL) has been used extensively for the detection, characterization and analysis of polypeptides, because this protein nanopore is highly robust, versatile and tractable under various experimental conditions. Inspired by the mechanisms of protein translocation across the outer membrane translocases of mitochondria, we have shown the ability to use nanopore-probe techniques in controlling a single protein using engineered αHL pores. Here, we provide a detailed protocol for the preparation of αHL protein nanopores. Moreover, we demonstrate that placing attractive electrostatic traps is instrumental in tackling single-molecule stochastic sensing of folded proteins. PMID:22528256

  18. Protein Design for Pathway Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Eriksen, Dawn T.; Lian, Jiazhang; Zhao, Huimin

    2013-01-01

    Design and construction of biochemical pathways has increased the complexity of biosynthetically-produced compounds when compared to single enzyme biocatalysis. However, the coordination of multiple enzymes can introduce a complicated set of obstacles to overcome in order to achieve a high titer and yield of the desired compound. Metabolic engineering has made great strides in developing tools to optimize the flux through a target pathway, but the inherent characteristics of a particular enzyme within the pathway can still limit the productivity. Thus, judicious protein design is critical for metabolic and pathway engineering. This review will describe various strategies and examples of applying protein design to pathway engineering to optimize the flux through the pathway. The proteins can be engineered for altered substrate specificity/selectivity, increased catalytic activity, reduced mass transfer limitations through specific protein localization, and reduced substrate/product inhibition. Protein engineering can also be expanded to design biosensors to enable high through-put screening and to customize cell signaling networks. These strategies have successfully engineered pathways for significantly increased productivity of the desired product or in the production of novel compounds. PMID:23558037

  19. Protein design for pathway engineering

    SciTech Connect

    Eriksen, DT; Lian, JZ; Zhao, HM

    2014-02-01

    Design and construction of biochemical pathways has increased the complexity of biosynthetically-produced compounds when compared to single enzyme biocatalysis. However, the coordination of multiple enzymes can introduce a complicated set of obstacles to overcome in order to achieve a high titer and yield of the desired compound. Metabolic engineering has made great strides in developing tools to optimize the flux through a target pathway, but the inherent characteristics of a particular enzyme within the pathway can still limit the productivity. Thus, judicious protein design is critical for metabolic and pathway engineering. This review will describe various strategies and examples of applying protein design to pathway engineering to optimize the flux through the pathway. The proteins can be engineered for altered substrate specificity/selectivity, increased catalytic activity, reduced mass transfer limitations through specific protein localization, and reduced substrate/product inhibition. Protein engineering can also be expanded to design biosensors to enable high through-put screening and to customize cell signaling networks. These strategies have successfully engineered pathways for significantly increased productivity of the desired product or in the production of novel compounds. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Split green fluorescent protein as a modular binding partner for protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, Hau B.; Hung, Li-Wei; Yeates, Todd O.; Terwilliger, Thomas C. Waldo, Geoffrey S.

    2013-12-01

    A strategy using a new split green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a modular binding partner to form stable protein complexes with a target protein is presented. The modular split GFP may open the way to rapidly creating crystallization variants. A modular strategy for protein crystallization using split green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a crystallization partner is demonstrated. Insertion of a hairpin containing GFP β-strands 10 and 11 into a surface loop of a target protein provides two chain crossings between the target and the reconstituted GFP compared with the single connection afforded by terminal GFP fusions. This strategy was tested by inserting this hairpin into a loop of another fluorescent protein, sfCherry. The crystal structure of the sfCherry-GFP(10–11) hairpin in complex with GFP(1–9) was determined at a resolution of 2.6 Å. Analysis of the complex shows that the reconstituted GFP is attached to the target protein (sfCherry) in a structurally ordered way. This work opens the way to rapidly creating crystallization variants by reconstituting a target protein bearing the GFP(10–11) hairpin with a variety of GFP(1–9) mutants engineered for favorable crystallization.

  1. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystallization Interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Smith, Lori; Forsythe, Elizabeth

    1999-01-01

    We are investigating protein-protein interactions in under- and over-saturated crystallization solution conditions using fluorescence methods. The use of fluorescence requires fluorescent derivatives where the probe does not markedly affect the crystal packing. A number of chicken egg white lysozyme (CEWL) derivatives have been prepared, with the probes covalently attached to one of two different sites on the protein molecule; the side chain carboxyl of ASP 101, within the active site cleft, and the N-terminal amine. The ASP 101 derivatives crystallize while the N-terminal amine derivatives do not. However, the N-terminal amine is part of the contact region between adjacent 43 helix chains, and blocking this site does would not interfere with formation of these structures in solution. Preliminary FRET data have been obtained at pH 4.6, 0.1M NaAc buffer, at 5 and 7% NaCl, 4 C, using the N-terminal bound pyrene acetic acid (PAA, Ex 340 nm, Em 376 nm) and ASP 101 bound Lucifer Yellow (LY, Ex 425 nm, Em 525 nm) probe combination. The corresponding Csat values are 0.471 and 0.362 mg/ml (approximately 3.3 and approximately 2.5 x 10 (exp 5) M respectively), and all experiments were carried out at approximately Csat or lower total protein concentration. The data at both salt concentrations show a consistent trend of decreasing fluorescence yield of the donor species (PAA) with increasing total protein concentration. This decrease is apparently more pronounced at 7% NaCl, consistent with the expected increased intermolecular interactions at higher salt concentrations (reflected in the lower solubility). The estimated average distance between protein molecules at 5 x 10 (exp 6) M is approximately 70 nm, well beyond the range where any FRET can be expected. The calculated RO, where 50% of the donor energy is transferred to the acceptor, for the PAA-CEWL * LY-CEWL system is 3.28 nm, based upon a PAA-CEWL quantum efficiency of 0.41.

  2. Fluorescent proteins for FRET microscopy: monitoring protein interactions in living cells

    PubMed Central

    Day, Richard N.; Davidson, Michael W.

    2012-01-01

    Summary The discovery and engineering of novel fluorescent proteins (FPs) from diverse organisms is yielding fluorophores with exceptional characteristics for live-cell imaging. In particular, the development of FPs for fluorescence (or Förster) resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy is providing important tools for monitoring dynamic protein interactions inside living cells. The increased interest in FRET microscopy has driven the development of many different methods to measure FRET. However, the interpretation of FRET measurements is complicated by several factors including the high fluorescence background, the potential for photoconversion artifacts, and the relatively low dynamic range afforded by this technique. Here, we describe the advantages and disadvantages of four methods commonly used in FRET microscopy. We then discuss the selection of FPs for the different FRET methods, identifying the most useful FP candidates for FRET microscopy. The recent success in expanding the FP color palette offers the opportunity to explore new FRET pairs. PMID:22396229

  3. Versatile protein tagging in cells with split fluorescent protein.

    PubMed

    Kamiyama, Daichi; Sekine, Sayaka; Barsi-Rhyne, Benjamin; Hu, Jeffrey; Chen, Baohui; Gilbert, Luke A; Ishikawa, Hiroaki; Leonetti, Manuel D; Marshall, Wallace F; Weissman, Jonathan S; Huang, Bo

    2016-01-01

    In addition to the popular method of fluorescent protein fusion, live cell protein imaging has now seen more and more application of epitope tags. The small size of these tags may reduce functional perturbation and enable signal amplification. To address their background issue, we adapt self-complementing split fluorescent proteins as epitope tags for live cell protein labelling. The two tags, GFP11 and sfCherry11 are derived from the eleventh β-strand of super-folder GFP and sfCherry, respectively. The small size of FP11-tags enables a cost-effective and scalable way to insert them into endogenous genomic loci via CRISPR-mediated homology-directed repair. Tandem arrangement FP11-tags allows proportional enhancement of fluorescence signal in tracking intraflagellar transport particles, or reduction of photobleaching for live microtubule imaging. Finally, we show the utility of tandem GFP11-tag in scaffolding protein oligomerization. These experiments illustrate the versatility of FP11-tag as a labelling tool as well as a multimerization-control tool for both imaging and non-imaging applications. PMID:26988139

  4. Versatile protein tagging in cells with split fluorescent protein

    PubMed Central

    Kamiyama, Daichi; Sekine, Sayaka; Barsi-Rhyne, Benjamin; Hu, Jeffrey; Chen, Baohui; Gilbert, Luke A.; Ishikawa, Hiroaki; Leonetti, Manuel D.; Marshall, Wallace F.; Weissman, Jonathan S.; Huang, Bo

    2016-01-01

    In addition to the popular method of fluorescent protein fusion, live cell protein imaging has now seen more and more application of epitope tags. The small size of these tags may reduce functional perturbation and enable signal amplification. To address their background issue, we adapt self-complementing split fluorescent proteins as epitope tags for live cell protein labelling. The two tags, GFP11 and sfCherry11 are derived from the eleventh β-strand of super-folder GFP and sfCherry, respectively. The small size of FP11-tags enables a cost-effective and scalable way to insert them into endogenous genomic loci via CRISPR-mediated homology-directed repair. Tandem arrangement FP11-tags allows proportional enhancement of fluorescence signal in tracking intraflagellar transport particles, or reduction of photobleaching for live microtubule imaging. Finally, we show the utility of tandem GFP11-tag in scaffolding protein oligomerization. These experiments illustrate the versatility of FP11-tag as a labelling tool as well as a multimerization-control tool for both imaging and non-imaging applications. PMID:26988139

  5. Photoactivation and Imaging of Optical Highlighter Fluorescent Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, George H.

    2011-01-01

    A major advance in the microscopic study of cells and tissues is the introduction of photoactivatable fluorescent proteins which can specifically mark proteins of interest within a living cell. Fluorescent proteins are now available that allow a pool of molecules to be “turned on” by photoactivation. This unit discusses technical aspects for the general use of photoactivatable fluorescent proteins and introduces some specific applications in the concluding remarks. PMID:21732309

  6. Microfluidics-Based Selection of Red-Fluorescent Proteins with Decreased Rates of Photobleaching

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Kevin M.; Lubbeck, Jennifer L.; Davis, Lloyd M.; Regmi, Chola K.; Chapagain, Prem P.; Gerstman, Bernard S.; Jimenez, Ralph; Palmer, Amy E.

    2014-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins offer exceptional labeling specificity in living cells and organisms. Unfortunately, their photophysical properties remain far from ideal for long-term imaging of low-abundance cellular constituents, in large part because of their poor photostability. Despite widespread engineering efforts, improving the photostability of fluorescent proteins remains challenging due to lack of appropriate high-throughput selection methods. Here, we use molecular dynamics guided mutagenesis in conjunction with a recently developed microfluidic-based platform, which sorts cells based on their fluorescence photostability, to identify red fluorescent proteins with decreased photobleaching from a HeLa cell-based library. The identified mutant, named Kriek, has 2.5- and 4-fold higher photostability than its progenitor, mCherry, under widefield and confocal illumination, respectively. Furthermore, the results provide insight into mechanisms for enhancing photostability and their connections with other photophysical processes, thereby providing direction for ongoing development of fluorescent proteins with improved single-molecule and low-copy imaging capabilities. Insight, innovation, integration Fluorescent proteins enable imaging in situ, throughout the visible spectrum, with superb molecular specificity and single-molecule sensitivity. Unfortunately, when compared to leading small-molecule fluorophores (e.g., Cy3), fluorescent proteins, suffer from accelerated photobleaching and poor integrated photon output. This results from a lack of appropriate high-throughput methods for improving the photostability of fluorescent proteins, as well as a poor molecular understanding of fluorescent protein photobleaching. Here, we report the first application of a recently developed microfluidic cell-sorter to identify fluorescent proteins from a mCherry-derived library with improved photostability. The results provide insight into fluorescent protein photophysics, greatly

  7. Proton Pathways in Green Fluorescence Protein

    PubMed Central

    Agmon, Noam

    2005-01-01

    Proton pathways in green fluorescent protein (GFP) are more extended than previously reported. In the x-ray data of wild-type GFP, a two-step exit pathway exists from the active site to the protein surface, controlled by a threonine switch. A proton entry pathway begins at a glutamate-lysine cluster around Glu-5, and extends all the way to the buried Glu-222 near the active site. This structural evidence suggests that GFP may function as a portable light-driven proton-pump, with proton emitted in the excited state through the switchable exit pathway, and replenished from Glu-222 and the Glu-5 entry pathway in the ground state. PMID:15681647

  8. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystal Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.

    1999-01-01

    Fluorescence can be used to study protein crystal nucleation through methods such as anisotropy, quenching, and resonance energy transfer (FRET), to follow pH and ionic strength changes, and follow events occurring at the growth interface. We have postulated, based upon a range of experimental evidence that the growth unit of tetragonal hen egg white lysozyme is an octamer. Several fluorescent derivatives of chicken egg white lysozyme have been prepared. The fluorescent probes lucifer yellow (LY), cascade blue, and 5-((2-aminoethyl)aminonapthalene-1-sulfonic acid (EDANS), have been covalently attached to ASP 101. All crystallize in the characteristic tetragonal form, indicating that the bound probes are likely laying within the active site cleft. Crystals of the LY and EDANS derivatives have been found to diffract to at least 1.7 A. A second group of derivatives is to the N-terminal amine group, and these do not crystallize as this site is part of the contact region between the adjacent 43 helix chains. However derivatives at these sites would not interfere with formation of the 43 helices in solution. Preliminary FRET studies have been carried out using N-terminal bound pyrene acetic acid (Ex 340 nm, Em 376 nm) lysozyme as a donor and LY (Ex -425 nm, Em 525 nm) labeled lysozyme as an acceptor. FRET data have been obtained at pH 4.6, 0.1 M NaAc buffer, at 5 and 7% NaCl, 4 C. The corresponding Csat values are 0.471 and 0.362 mg/ml (approximately 3.3 and approximately 2.5 x 10(exp -5) M respectively). The data at both salt concentrations show a consistent trend of decreasing fluorescence intensity of the donor species (PAA) with increasing total protein concentration. This decrease is more pronounced at 7% NaCl, consistent with the expected increased intermolecular interactions at higher salt concentrations reflected in the lower solubility. The calculated average distance between any two protein molecules at 5 x 10(exp -6) M is approximately 70nm, well beyond the

  9. Phycobiliprotein fusion proteins: versatile intensely fluorescent constructs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glazer, Alexander N.; Cai, Yuping A.; Tooley, Aaron J.

    2004-06-01

    Since 1982, phycobiliproteins have served as fluorescent labels in a wide variety of cell and molecule analyses. The exceptional spectroscopic properties of these labels include very high absorbance coefficients and quantum yields, and large Stokes shifts. The spectroscopic diversity of these reagents is restricted to a subset of naturally occurring phycobiliproteins with stable assembly states in vitro, whose target specificity is generated by chemical conjugation to proteins or small molecules. The latter step generates heterogeneity. These limitations have been overcome by expressing various recombinant phycobiliprotein constructs in the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC7120. Modular recombinant phycobiliprotein-based labels were constructed with some or all of the following features (a) an affinity purification tag; (b) a stable oligomerization domain (to maintain stable higher order assemblies of the phycobiliprotein monomers at very low protein concentration); (c) a biospecific recognition domain. Such phycobiliprotein constructs are readily purified from crude cell extracts by affinity chromatography and used directly as fluorescent labels. To generate constructs for intracellular in vivo labeling, the entire pathways for the biosynthesis of the His-tagged holo- α (phycocyanobilin-bearing) subunit of phycocyanin (emission max. 641 nm) and of the His-tagged holo-α (phycobiliviolin-bearing) subunit of phycoerythrocyanin (emission max. 582 nm) were reconstituted in Escherichia coli.

  10. Chemical reactivation of quenched fluorescent protein molecules enables resin-embedded fluorescence microimaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiong, Hanqing; Zhou, Zhenqiao; Zhu, Mingqiang; Lv, Xiaohua; Li, Anan; Li, Shiwei; Li, Longhui; Yang, Tao; Wang, Siming; Yang, Zhongqin; Xu, Tonghui; Luo, Qingming; Gong, Hui; Zeng, Shaoqun

    2014-06-01

    Resin embedding is a well-established technique to prepare biological specimens for microscopic imaging. However, it is not compatible with modern green-fluorescent protein (GFP) fluorescent-labelling technique because it significantly quenches the fluorescence of GFP and its variants. Previous empirical optimization efforts are good for thin tissue but not successful on macroscopic tissue blocks as the quenching mechanism remains uncertain. Here we show most of the quenched GFP molecules are structurally preserved and not denatured after routine embedding in resin, and can be chemically reactivated to a fluorescent state by alkaline buffer during imaging. We observe up to 98% preservation in yellow-fluorescent protein case, and improve the fluorescence intensity 11.8-fold compared with unprocessed samples. We demonstrate fluorescence microimaging of resin-embedded EGFP/EYFP-labelled tissue block without noticeable loss of labelled structures. This work provides a turning point for the imaging of fluorescent protein-labelled specimens after resin embedding.

  11. Engineering proteins for environmental applications.

    PubMed

    Janssen, D B; Schanstra, J P

    1994-06-01

    Recently, significant new insight has been obtained into the structure and catalytic mechanism of enzymes that convert environmental pollutants. Recent advances in protein engineering make it possible to use this information for improving the catalytic performance of such enzymes to achieve increased stability and expanded substrate range. PMID:7765007

  12. Developing new fluorescent proteins with stagger extension process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jie; Lu, Jinling; Luo, Haiming; Luo, Qingming; Zhang, Zhihong

    2009-02-01

    The Stagger Extension Process (StEP), a recombination of DNA technique, has been used as a rapid molecular mutagenesis strategy. In this study, for obtaining the fluorescence proteins with new properties, six fluorescence proteins (EYFP, EGFP, ECFP, mCitrine, mCerulean and Venus) were used as the templates to recombine the mutation library by the Stagger Extension Process (StEP) technique. Through screening this mutation library, we have obtained some useful new FPs which are different fluorescent properties with ancestor. These protein will extend fluorescent proteins application.

  13. Ultrafast Nonlinear Spectroscopy of Red Fluorescent Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konold, Patrick Eugene

    Red-emitting homologues (RFPs) of the native Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) with emission wavelengths beyond 650 nm are desirable probes for in vivo imaging experiments. They offer the potential for deeper tissue penetration and lower background scatter given a cleaner spectral window. However, bioimaging applications are hindered by poor photophysics ( e.g. low fluorescence quantum yield, high photobleaching), which limits experimental resolution and represents a significant obstacle towards utilization for low copy-number, long-duration imaging applications. In this thesis, a variety of femtosecond nonlinear electronic spectroscopies were employed jointly with site-directed mutagenesis to investigate the photophysical properties of RFPs. In one study, the molecular mechanism of red emission was pursued in two notable RFPs, mPlum and TagRFP675. Solvation dynamics observed with time-resolved transient grating spectroscopy were interpreted with the aid of molecular dynamics simulations to indicate that their red-emission is correlated with the ability of specific chromophore-sidechain hydrogen-bonding interactions to interconvert between direct and water-mediated states. In a second set of studies, two-dimensional double quantum coherence spectroscopy was used to probe the electronic transitions of mPlum. It was discovered that it displayed a response distinctly different from an organic dye in bulk solvent. Modeling indicate of these spectra indicate the spectral features may be attributed to the existence of multiple high-lying (n>1) excited states. The results provide new insight into the electronic structure of these widely used fluorescent probes.

  14. Lightweight LED Fluorescent lamp using engineering poly carbonate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Hyun-Ju; Lee, Jong-Phil

    2014-09-01

    In this study, we developed lightweight LED fluorescent lamp using thermally conductive engineering PC a heat sink instead of metal. In order to secure price competitiveness, we used double extrusion molding which extrude both the heat sink plate and diffuser plate simultaneously. Fabricated fluorescent lamp has less than 20% of weight as compare to glass fluorescent lamp and power consumption is 20.2 watts, luminous efficiency 123.9 lm/W, respectively. Despite the heat conductive plastic is adopted, the system temperature is maintained less than 35° and the thermal resistance is 25 °/W.

  15. Small fluorescence-activating and absorption-shifting tag for tunable protein imaging in vivo.

    PubMed

    Plamont, Marie-Aude; Billon-Denis, Emmanuelle; Maurin, Sylvie; Gauron, Carole; Pimenta, Frederico M; Specht, Christian G; Shi, Jian; Quérard, Jérôme; Pan, Buyan; Rossignol, Julien; Moncoq, Karine; Morellet, Nelly; Volovitch, Michel; Lescop, Ewen; Chen, Yong; Triller, Antoine; Vriz, Sophie; Le Saux, Thomas; Jullien, Ludovic; Gautier, Arnaud

    2016-01-19

    This paper presents Yellow Fluorescence-Activating and absorption-Shifting Tag (Y-FAST), a small monomeric protein tag, half as large as the green fluorescent protein, enabling fluorescent labeling of proteins in a reversible and specific manner through the reversible binding and activation of a cell-permeant and nontoxic fluorogenic ligand (a so-called fluorogen). A unique fluorogen activation mechanism based on two spectroscopic changes, increase of fluorescence quantum yield and absorption red shift, provides high labeling selectivity. Y-FAST was engineered from the 14-kDa photoactive yellow protein by directed evolution using yeast display and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Y-FAST is as bright as common fluorescent proteins, exhibits good photostability, and allows the efficient labeling of proteins in various organelles and hosts. Upon fluorogen binding, fluorescence appears instantaneously, allowing monitoring of rapid processes in near real time. Y-FAST distinguishes itself from other tagging systems because the fluorogen binding is highly dynamic and fully reversible, which enables rapid labeling and unlabeling of proteins by addition and withdrawal of the fluorogen, opening new exciting prospects for the development of multiplexing imaging protocols based on sequential labeling. PMID:26711992

  16. Small fluorescence-activating and absorption-shifting tag for tunable protein imaging in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Plamont, Marie-Aude; Billon-Denis, Emmanuelle; Maurin, Sylvie; Gauron, Carole; Pimenta, Frederico M.; Specht, Christian G.; Shi, Jian; Quérard, Jérôme; Pan, Buyan; Rossignol, Julien; Moncoq, Karine; Morellet, Nelly; Volovitch, Michel; Lescop, Ewen; Chen, Yong; Triller, Antoine; Vriz, Sophie; Le Saux, Thomas; Jullien, Ludovic; Gautier, Arnaud

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents Yellow Fluorescence-Activating and absorption-Shifting Tag (Y-FAST), a small monomeric protein tag, half as large as the green fluorescent protein, enabling fluorescent labeling of proteins in a reversible and specific manner through the reversible binding and activation of a cell-permeant and nontoxic fluorogenic ligand (a so-called fluorogen). A unique fluorogen activation mechanism based on two spectroscopic changes, increase of fluorescence quantum yield and absorption red shift, provides high labeling selectivity. Y-FAST was engineered from the 14-kDa photoactive yellow protein by directed evolution using yeast display and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Y-FAST is as bright as common fluorescent proteins, exhibits good photostability, and allows the efficient labeling of proteins in various organelles and hosts. Upon fluorogen binding, fluorescence appears instantaneously, allowing monitoring of rapid processes in near real time. Y-FAST distinguishes itself from other tagging systems because the fluorogen binding is highly dynamic and fully reversible, which enables rapid labeling and unlabeling of proteins by addition and withdrawal of the fluorogen, opening new exciting prospects for the development of multiplexing imaging protocols based on sequential labeling. PMID:26711992

  17. Protein hydrogels with engineered biomolecular recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mi, Lixin

    Extracellular matrices (ECMs) are the hydrated macromolecular gels in which cells migrate and proliferate and organize into tissues in vivo . The development of artificial ECM with the required mechanical, physico-chemical, and biological properties has long been a challenge in the biomaterial research field. In this dissertation, a novel set of bioactive protein hydrogels has been synthesized and characterized at both molecular and materials levels. The self-recognized and self-assembled protein copolymers have the ability to provide engineered biofunctionality through the controlled arrangement of bioactive domains on the nanoscale. Genetic engineering methods have been employed to synthesize these protein copolymers. Plasmid DNA carrying genes to express both di- and tri-block proteins have been constructed using molecular cloning techniques. These genes were expressed in bacterial E. coli to ensure homogeneous protein length and anticipated structure. Three diblock protein sequences having a leucine zipper construct on one end and polyelectrolyte (AGAGAGPEG)10 on the other, have been studied by circular dichroism, size-exclusion chromatography, analytical ultracentrifugation, and static light scattering to characterize their secondary structure, structural stability, and oligomeric state. The results show that ABC diblock mixtures form very stable heterotrimer aggregates via self-recognition and self-assembly of the coiled coil end domains. Tri-block proteins with two leucine zipper motif ends flanking the polyelectrolyte random coil in the middle have been investigated by circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy, and the hydrogels formed by self-assembly of these tri-blocks have been studied using transmission electronic microscopy and diffusing wave spectroscopy. The reversible gelation behavior is the result of heterotrimeric aggregation of helices to form the physical crosslinks in the gel, with the polyelectrolyte region center block retaining

  18. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystal Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc; Sumida, John

    2000-01-01

    -association process is a function of the protein concentration relative to the saturation concentration, and observing it in dilute solution (conc. less than or equal to 10(exp -5)M) requires that the experiments be performed under low solubility conditions, i.e., low temperatures and high salt concentrations. Data from preliminary steady state FRET studies with N-terminal bound pyrene acetic acid (PAA-lys, donor, Ex 340 nm, Em 376 nm) and asp101 LY-lys as an acceptor showed a consistent trend of decreasing donor fluorescence intensity with increasing total protein concentration. The FRET data have been obtained at pH 4.6, 0.1M NaAc buffer, at 5 and 7% NaCl, 4 C. The corresponding C(sub sat) values are 0.471 and 0.362 mg/ml (approx. 3.3 and approx. 2.5 x 10(exp -5)M respectively). The donor fluorescence decrease is more pronounced at7% NaCl, consistent with the expected increased intermolecular interactions at higher salt concentrations as reflected in the lower solubility. Results from these and other ongoing studies will be discussed in conjunction with an emerging model for how tetragonal lysozyme crystals nucleate and the relevance of that model to other proteins.

  19. Toward fluorescence detection of protein residues on surgical instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, Patricia R.; Jones, Anita C.; Baxter, Robert L.; Baxter, Helen C.; Whittaker, A. Gavin; Campbell, Gaynor A.

    2004-06-01

    Prion proteins are the infectious agents that cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in humans. These proteins are particularly resistant to normal sterilization procedures, and the theoretical risk of prion transmission via surgical instruments is of current public and professional concern. We are currently investigating fluorescence methods for the detection of proteins on surfaces, with a view to developing an optical-fiber-based system for routine, online monitoring of residual protein contamination on surgical instruments, in hospital sterilization departments. This paper presents preliminary results on the detection of femtomole amounts of fluorescently labelled protein on surgical steel and discusses some of the problems involved in the detection of fluorescence from metal samples.

  20. Novel fluorescent protein from Hydnophora rigida possess cyano emission.

    PubMed

    Bokhari, H; Smith, C; Veerendra, K; Sivaraman, J; Sikaroodi, M; Gillevet, P

    2010-06-01

    Currently, a broad diversity of fluorescent proteins among marine organisms range from cyano-red emissions. Fluorescent proteins differ in their DNA sequences from green fluorescent protein (GFP). We identified cDNA encoding the gene of a new protein from the reef coral Hydnophora rigida of the Merulinidae family. Both the spectral properties and putative primary sequence of the protein has been determined. The cloned cDNA encode peptide we call HriCFP is comprised of 134 amino acids. It has characteristics of a cyano fluorescent protein (HriCFP) and its sequence is markedly different from known GFP from the hydroid jellyfish Aequorea victoria. HriCFP was cloned, expressed, purified and exist as monomer. The peptide mass finger print on the purified protein confirmed identity of HriCFP. PMID:20435020

  1. CHARACTERIZATION OF A CRYPTIC PLASMID FROM ESCHERICHIA COLI O157:H7 AND EVALUATION OF THE EXPRESSION OF GREEN-FLUORESCENT PROTEIN FROM GENETICALLY ENGINEERED DERIVATIVES OF THIS PLASMID

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain 86-24 harbors a 3.3 kb cryptic plasmid (pSP). Our objectives were to clone a DNA cassette expressing a green-fluorescent protein (GFP) from a lac promoter and an ampicillin resistance (Amp**r) gene on pSP, and to monitor both the expression of GFP and the stability o...

  2. Novel fluorescent protein from Hydnophora rigida possesses green emission.

    PubMed

    Idrees, M; Thangavelu, K; Sikaroodi, M; Smith, C; Sivaraman, J; Gillevet, P M; Bokhari, H

    2014-05-23

    Fluorescent proteins are a family of proteins capable of producing fluorescence at various specific wavelengths of ultra violet light. We have previously reported the identification and characterization of a novel cyan fluorescent protein (HriCFP) from a reef coral species, Hydnophora rigida. In search of new members of the diverse family of fluorescent proteins, here we report a new green fluorescent protein (HriGFP) from H. rigida. HriGFP was identified, cloned, expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity by metal affinity and size exclusion chromatography. The dynamic light scattering and gel filtration experiments suggested the presence of monomers in solution. The peptide mass fingerprint on the purified protein established the identity of HriGFP. HriGFP had excitation peak at 507 nm and emission peak at 527 nm. HriGFP was similar to HriCFP except the last 16 amino acid sequence at the C-terminal; however, they have shown least similarity with other known fluorescent proteins. Moreover the computational model suggests that HriGFP is a globular protein which consists of 6 α-helices and 3 β-sheets. Taken together our results suggested that HriGFP is a novel naturally occurring fluorescent protein that exists as a monomer in solution. PMID:24747076

  3. Fluorescent Protein Based FRET Pairs with Improved Dynamic Range for Fluorescence Lifetime Measurements.

    PubMed

    George Abraham, Bobin; Sarkisyan, Karen S; Mishin, Alexander S; Santala, Ville; Tkachenko, Nikolai V; Karp, Matti

    2015-01-01

    Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) using fluorescent protein variants is widely used to study biochemical processes in living cells. FRET detection by fluorescence lifetime measurements is the most direct and robust method to measure FRET. The traditional cyan-yellow fluorescent protein based FRET pairs are getting replaced by green-red fluorescent protein variants. The green-red pair enables excitation at a longer wavelength which reduces cellular autofluorescence and phototoxicity while monitoring FRET. Despite the advances in FRET based sensors, the low FRET efficiency and dynamic range still complicates their use in cell biology and high throughput screening. In this paper, we utilized the higher lifetime of NowGFP and screened red fluorescent protein variants to develop FRET pairs with high dynamic range and FRET efficiency. The FRET variations were analyzed by proteolytic activity and detected by steady-state and time-resolved measurements. Based on the results, NowGFP-tdTomato and NowGFP-mRuby2 have shown high potentials as FRET pairs with large fluorescence lifetime dynamic range. The in vitro measurements revealed that the NowGFP-tdTomato has the highest Förster radius for any fluorescent protein based FRET pairs yet used in biological studies. The developed FRET pairs will be useful for designing FRET based sensors and studies employing Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM). PMID:26237400

  4. Structural characterization of the photoswitchable fluorescent protein Dronpa-C62S

    SciTech Connect

    Nam, Ki-Hyun; Kwon, Oh Yeun; Sugiyama, Kanako; Lee, Won-Ho; Kim, Young Kwan; Song, Hyun Kyu; Kim, Eunice Eunkyung; Park, Sam-Yong; Jeon, Hyesung . E-mail: hjeon@kist.re.kr; Hwang, Kwang Yeon . E-mail: chahong@korea.ac.kr

    2007-03-23

    The photoswitching behavior of green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) or GFP-like proteins is increasingly recognized as a new technique for optical marking. Recently, Ando and his colleagues developed a new green fluorescent protein Dronpa, which possesses the unique photochromic property of being photoswitchable in a non-destructive manner. To better understand this mechanism, we determined the crystal structures of a new GFP Dronpa and its mutant C62S, at 1.9 A and 1.8 A, respectively. Determination of the structures demonstrates that a unique hydrogen-bonding network and the sulfur atom of the chromophore are critical to the photoswitching property of Dronpa. Reversible photoswitching was lost in cells expressing the Dronpa-C62S upon repetitive irradiation compared to the native protein. Structural and mutational analyses reveal the chemical basis for the functional properties of photoswitchable fluorescent proteins and provide the basis for subsequent coherent engineering of this subfamily of Dronpa homolog's.

  5. Adaptive Evolution of Eel Fluorescent Proteins from Fatty Acid Binding Proteins Produces Bright Fluorescence in the Marine Environment

    PubMed Central

    Gruber, David F.; Gaffney, Jean P.; Mehr, Shaadi; DeSalle, Rob; Sparks, John S.; Platisa, Jelena; Pieribone, Vincent A.

    2015-01-01

    We report the identification and characterization of two new members of a family of bilirubin-inducible fluorescent proteins (FPs) from marine chlopsid eels and demonstrate a key region of the sequence that serves as an evolutionary switch from non-fluorescent to fluorescent fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs). Using transcriptomic analysis of two species of brightly fluorescent Kaupichthys eels (Kaupichthys hyoproroides and Kaupichthys n. sp.), two new FPs were identified, cloned and characterized (Chlopsid FP I and Chlopsid FP II). We then performed phylogenetic analysis on 210 FABPs, spanning 16 vertebrate orders, and including 163 vertebrate taxa. We show that the fluorescent FPs diverged as a protein family and are the sister group to brain FABPs. Our results indicate that the evolution of this family involved at least three gene duplication events. We show that fluorescent FABPs possess a unique, conserved tripeptide Gly-Pro-Pro sequence motif, which is not found in non-fluorescent fatty acid binding proteins. This motif arose from a duplication event of the FABP brain isoforms and was under strong purifying selection, leading to the classification of this new FP family. Residues adjacent to the motif are under strong positive selection, suggesting a further refinement of the eel protein’s fluorescent properties. We present a phylogenetic reconstruction of this emerging FP family and describe additional fluorescent FABP members from groups of distantly related eels. The elucidation of this class of fish FPs with diverse properties provides new templates for the development of protein-based fluorescent tools. The evolutionary adaptation from fatty acid-binding proteins to fluorescent fatty acid-binding proteins raises intrigue as to the functional role of bright green fluorescence in this cryptic genus of reclusive eels that inhabit a blue, nearly monochromatic, marine environment. PMID:26561348

  6. Fluorescence plate reader for quantum dot-protein bioconjugation analysis.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Kilmara H G; Brasil, Aluizio G; Cabral Filho, Paulo E; Tenório, Denise P L A; de Siqueira, Ana C A; Leite, Elisa S; Fontes, Adriana; Santos, Beate S

    2014-05-01

    We present here a new and alternative method that uses a Fluorescence Plate Reader in a different approach, not to study protein-protein interactions, but to evaluate the efficiency of the protein bioconjugation to quantum dots (QDs). The method is based on the QDs' native fluorescence and was successfully tested by employing two different QDs-proteins conjugation methodologies, one by promoting covalent binding and other by inducing adsorption processes. For testing, we used bioconjugates between carboxyl coated CdTe QDs and bovine serum albumin, concanavalin A lectin and anti-A antibody. Flow cytometry and fluorescence spectroscopy studies corroborated the results found by the Fluorescence Plate Reader assay. This kind of analysis is important because poor bioconjugation efficiency leads to unsuccessful applications of the fluorescent bioconjugates. We believe that our method presents the possibility of performing semi-quantitative and simultaneous analysis of different samples with accuracy taking the advantage of the high sensitivity of optical based measurements. PMID:24734547

  7. Use of anaerobic green fluorescent protein versus green fluorescent protein as reporter in lactic acid bacteria.

    PubMed

    Landete, José M; Langa, Susana; Revilla, Concepción; Margolles, Abelardo; Medina, Margarita; Arqués, Juan L

    2015-08-01

    Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are commonly used in the production of fermented and probiotic foods. Development of molecular tools to discriminate the strains of interest from the endogenous microbiota in complex environments like food or gut is of high interest. Green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like chromophores strictly requires molecular oxygen for maturation of fluorescence, which restrict the study of microorganisms in low-oxygen environments. In this work, we have developed a noninvasive cyan-green fluorescent based reporter system for real-time tracking of LAB that is functional under anoxic conditions. The evoglow-Pp1 was cloned downstream from the promoters D-alanyl-D-alanine carboxypeptidase and elongation factor Tu of Lactobacillus reuteri CECT925 using pNZ8048 and downstream of the lactococcal P1 promoter using pT1NX. The classical gfp was also cloned in pT1NX. These recombinant expression vectors were electroporated into Lactococccus, Lactobacillus, and Enterococcus strains with biotechnological and/or probiotic interests to assess and compare their functionality under different conditions of oxygen and pH. The expression was analyzed by imaging and fluorometric methods as well as by flow cytometry. We demonstrate that reporter systems pNZ:TuR-aFP and pT1-aFP are two versatile molecular markers for monitoring LAB in food and fecal environments without the potential problems caused by oxygen and pH limitations, which could be exploited for in vivo studies. Production of the fluorescent protein did not disturb any important physiological properties of the parental strains, such as growth rate, reuterin, or bacteriocin production. PMID:26129953

  8. Green Fluorescent Protein with Anionic Tryptophan-Based Chromophore and Long Fluorescence Lifetime

    PubMed Central

    Sarkisyan, Karen S.; Goryashchenko, Alexander S.; Lidsky, Peter V.; Gorbachev, Dmitry A.; Bozhanova, Nina G.; Gorokhovatsky, Andrey Yu.; Pereverzeva, Alina R.; Ryumina, Alina P.; Zherdeva, Victoria V.; Savitsky, Alexander P.; Solntsev, Kyril M.; Bommarius, Andreas S.; Sharonov, George V.; Lindquist, Jake R.; Drobizhev, Mikhail; Hughes, Thomas E.; Rebane, Aleksander; Lukyanov, Konstantin A.; Mishin, Alexander S.

    2015-01-01

    Spectral diversity of fluorescent proteins, crucial for multiparameter imaging, is based mainly on chemical diversity of their chromophores. Recently we have reported, to our knowledge, a new green fluorescent protein WasCFP—the first fluorescent protein with a tryptophan-based chromophore in the anionic state. However, only a small portion of WasCFP molecules exists in the anionic state at physiological conditions. In this study we report on an improved variant of WasCFP, named NowGFP, with the anionic form dominating at 37°C and neutral pH. It is 30% brighter than enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and exhibits a fluorescence lifetime of 5.1 ns. We demonstrated that signals of NowGFP and EGFP can be clearly distinguished by fluorescence lifetime in various models, including mammalian cells, mouse tumor xenograft, and Drosophila larvae. NowGFP thus provides an additional channel for multiparameter fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy of green fluorescent proteins. PMID:26200874

  9. Fluorescence of Alexa fluor dye tracks protein folding.

    PubMed

    Lindhoud, Simon; Westphal, Adrie H; Visser, Antonie J W G; Borst, Jan Willem; van Mierlo, Carlo P M

    2012-01-01

    Fluorescence spectroscopy is an important tool for the characterization of protein folding. Often, a protein is labeled with appropriate fluorescent donor and acceptor probes and folding-induced changes in Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) are monitored. However, conformational changes of the protein potentially affect fluorescence properties of both probes, thereby profoundly complicating interpretation of FRET data. In this study, we assess the effects protein folding has on fluorescence properties of Alexa Fluor 488 (A488), which is commonly used as FRET donor. Here, A488 is covalently attached to Cys69 of apoflavodoxin from Azotobacter vinelandii. Although coupling of A488 slightly destabilizes apoflavodoxin, the three-state folding of this protein, which involves a molten globule intermediate, is unaffected. Upon folding of apoflavodoxin, fluorescence emission intensity of A488 changes significantly. To illuminate the molecular sources of this alteration, we applied steady state and time-resolved fluorescence techniques. The results obtained show that tryptophans cause folding-induced changes in quenching of Alexa dye. Compared to unfolded protein, static quenching of A488 is increased in the molten globule. Upon populating the native state both static and dynamic quenching of A488 decrease considerably. We show that fluorescence quenching of Alexa Fluor dyes is a sensitive reporter of conformational changes during protein folding. PMID:23056480

  10. Fluorescence Quantum Yield Measurements of Fluorescent Proteins: A Laboratory Experiment for a Biochemistry or Molecular Biophysics Laboratory Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wall, Kathryn P.; Dillon, Rebecca; Knowles, Michelle K.

    2015-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins are commonly used in cell biology to assess where proteins are within a cell as a function of time and provide insight into intracellular protein function. However, the usefulness of a fluorescent protein depends directly on the quantum yield. The quantum yield relates the efficiency at which a fluorescent molecule converts…

  11. A Laboratory Exercise for Visible Gel Filtration Chromatography Using Fluorescent Proteins

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Wenqiang; Cao, Yibin; Xu, Lishan; Gong, Jufang; Sun, Meihao

    2015-01-01

    Gel filtration chromatography (GFC) separates molecules according to size and is one of the most widely used methods for protein purification. Here, red fluorescent protein (RFP), green fluorescent protein (GFP), yellow fluorescent protein (YFP), cyan fluorescent protein (CFP), and/or their fusion proteins were prokaryotically expressed, purified,…

  12. Mesoscopic Fluorescence Molecular Tomography for Evaluating Engineered Tissues.

    PubMed

    Ozturk, Mehmet S; Chen, Chao-Wei; Ji, Robin; Zhao, Lingling; Nguyen, Bao-Ngoc B; Fisher, John P; Chen, Yu; Intes, Xavier

    2016-03-01

    Optimization of regenerative medicine strategies includes the design of biomaterials, development of cell-seeding methods, and control of cell-biomaterial interactions within the engineered tissues. Among these steps, one paramount challenge is to non-destructively image the engineered tissues in their entirety to assess structure, function, and molecular expression. It is especially important to be able to enable cell phenotyping and monitor the distribution and migration of cells throughout the bulk scaffold. Advanced fluorescence microscopic techniques are commonly employed to perform such tasks; however, they are limited to superficial examination of tissue constructs. Therefore, the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine would greatly benefit from the development of molecular imaging techniques which are capable of non-destructive imaging of three-dimensional cellular distribution and maturation within a tissue-engineered scaffold beyond the limited depth of current microscopic techniques. In this review, we focus on an emerging depth-resolved optical mesoscopic imaging technique, termed laminar optical tomography (LOT) or mesoscopic fluorescence molecular tomography (MFMT), which enables longitudinal imaging of cellular distribution in thick tissue engineering constructs at depths of a few millimeters and with relatively high resolution. The physical principle, image formation, and instrumentation of LOT/MFMT systems are introduced. Representative applications in tissue engineering include imaging the distribution of human mesenchymal stem cells embedded in hydrogels, imaging of bio-printed tissues, and in vivo applications. PMID:26645079

  13. Dependence of fluorescent protein brightness on protein concentration in solution and enhancement of it

    PubMed Central

    Morikawa, Takamitsu J.; Fujita, Hideaki; Kitamura, Akira; Horio, Takashi; Yamamoto, Johtaro; Kinjo, Masataka; Sasaki, Akira; Machiyama, Hiroaki; Yoshizawa, Keiko; Ichimura, Taro; Imada, Katsumi; Nagai, Takeharu; Watanabe, Tomonobu M.

    2016-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins have been widely used in biology because of their compatibility and varied applications in living specimens. Fluorescent proteins are often undesirably sensitive to intracellular conditions such as pH and ion concentration, generating considerable issues at times. However, harnessing these intrinsic sensitivities can help develop functional probes. In this study, we found that the fluorescence of yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) depends on the protein concentration in the solution and that this dependence can be enhanced by adding a glycine residue in to the YFP; we applied this finding to construct an intracellular protein-crowding sensor. A Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) pair, involving a cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) insensitive to protein concentration and a glycine-inserted YFP, works as a genetically encoded probe to evaluate intracellular crowding. By measuring the fluorescence of the present FRET probe, we were able to detect dynamic changes in protein crowding in living cells. PMID:26956628

  14. Protein chip analysis by probing time-resolved UV fluorescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigaravicius, Paulius; Dietrich, Rüdiger; Fritzsche, Wolfgang; Greulich, Karl Otto; Horn, Uwe; Knoll, Dietmar; Peters, Sven; Striebel, Hans-Martin; Schellenberg, Peter

    2007-07-01

    We describe a novel label-free method to analyse protein interactions on microarrays as well as in solution. By this technique the time resolved native protein fluorescence in the UV is probed. The method is based on alterations of the protein upon ligand binding, and, as a consequence, of alterations of the environment of the proteins' aromatic amino acids. These amino acids act as internal probes, and as a result, the fluorescence lifetime of the proteins change due to binding to a ligand partner such as another protein. We were able to demonstrate the feasibility of the method with many compounds, including protein-protein, protein-antibody, protein-nucleic acid and protein-small ligand pairs. Unlike to many other label-free techniques, the sensitivity of the method does not depend on the size of the counterbinding ligand and therefore is particularly suitable for drug monitoring, when small molecules are involved.

  15. Time-resolved FRET fluorescence spectroscopy of visible fluorescent protein pairs.

    PubMed

    Visser, A J W G; Laptenok, S P; Visser, N V; van Hoek, A; Birch, D J S; Brochon, J-C; Borst, J W

    2010-01-01

    Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) is a powerful method for obtaining information about small-scale lengths between biomacromolecules. Visible fluorescent proteins (VFPs) are widely used as spectrally different FRET pairs, where one VFP acts as a donor and another VFP as an acceptor. The VFPs are usually fused to the proteins of interest, and this fusion product is genetically encoded in cells. FRET between VFPs can be determined by analysis of either the fluorescence decay properties of the donor molecule or the rise time of acceptor fluorescence. Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy is the technique of choice to perform these measurements. FRET can be measured not only in solution, but also in living cells by the technique of fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM), where fluorescence lifetimes are determined with the spatial resolution of an optical microscope. Here we focus attention on time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy of purified, selected VFPs (both single VFPs and FRET pairs of VFPs) in cuvette-type experiments. For quantitative interpretation of FRET-FLIM experiments in cellular systems, details of the molecular fluorescence are needed that can be obtained from experiments with isolated VFPs. For analysis of the time-resolved fluorescence experiments of VFPs, we have utilised the maximum entropy method procedure to obtain a distribution of fluorescence lifetimes. Distributed lifetime patterns turn out to have diagnostic value, for instance, in observing populations of VFP pairs that are FRET-inactive. PMID:19693494

  16. Ultraviolet fluorescence of coelenteramide and coelenteramide-containing fluorescent proteins. Experimental and theoretical study.

    PubMed

    Alieva, Roza R; Tomilin, Felix N; Kuzubov, Alexander A; Ovchinnikov, Sergey G; Kudryasheva, Nadezhda S

    2016-09-01

    Coelenteramide-containing fluorescent proteins are products of bioluminescent reactions of marine coelenterates. They are called 'discharged photoproteins'. Their light-induced fluorescence spectra are variable, depending considerably on external conditions. Current work studies a dependence of light-induced fluorescence spectra of discharged photoproteins obelin, aequorin, and clytin on excitation energy. It was demonstrated that photoexcitation to the upper electron-excited states (260-300nm) of the discharged photoproteins initiates a fluorescence peak in the near UV region, in addition to the blue-green emission. To characterize the UV fluorescence, the light-induced fluorescence spectra of coelenteramide (CLM), fluorophore of the discharged photoproteins, were studied in methanol solution. Similar to photoproteins, the CLM spectra depended on photoexcitation energy; the additional peak (330nm) in the near UV region was observed in CLM fluorescence at higher excitation energy (260-300nm). Quantum chemical calculations by time depending method with B3LYP/cc-pVDZ showed that the conjugated pyrazine-phenolic fragment and benzene moiety of CLM molecule are responsible for the additional UV fluorescence peak. Quantum yields of CLM fluorescence in methanol were 0.028±0.005 at 270-340nm photoexcitation. A conclusion was made that the UV emission of CLM might contribute to the UV fluorescence of the discharged photoproteins. The study develops knowledge on internal energy transfer in biological structures - complexes of proteins with low-weight aromatic molecules. PMID:27400455

  17. LucY: A versatile new fluorescent reporter protein

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Auldridge, Michele E.; Cao, Hongnan; Sen, Saurabh; Franz, Laura P.; Bingman, Craig A.; Yennamalli, Ragothaman M.; Phillips, Jr., George N.; Mead, David; Steinmetz, Eric J.; Michnick, Stephen W.

    2015-04-23

    We report on the discovery, isolation, and use of a novel yellow fluorescent protein. Lucigen Yellow (LucY) binds one FAD molecule within its core, thus shielding it from water and maintaining its structure so that fluorescence is 10-fold higher than freely soluble FAD. LucY displays excitation and emission spectra characteristic of FAD, with 3 excitation peaks at 276nm, 377nm, and 460nm and a single emission peak at 530nm. These excitation and emission maxima provide the large Stokes shift beneficial to fluorescence experimentation. LucY belongs to the MurB family of UDP-N-acetylenolpyruvylglucosamine reductases. The high resolution crystal structure shows that in contrastmore » to other structurally resolved MurB enzymes, LucY does not contain a potentially quenching aromatic residue near the FAD isoalloxazine ring, which may explain its increased fluorescence over related proteins. Using E. coli as a system in which to develop LucY as a reporter, we show that it is amenable to circular permutation and use as a reporter of protein-protein interaction. Fragmentation between its distinct domains renders LucY non-fluorescent, but fluorescence can be partially restored by fusion of the fragments to interacting protein domains. Thus, LucY may find application in Protein-fragment Complementation Assays for evaluating protein-protein interactions.« less

  18. LucY: A versatile new fluorescent reporter protein

    SciTech Connect

    Auldridge, Michele E.; Cao, Hongnan; Sen, Saurabh; Franz, Laura P.; Bingman, Craig A.; Yennamalli, Ragothaman M.; Phillips, Jr., George N.; Mead, David; Steinmetz, Eric J.; Michnick, Stephen W.

    2015-04-23

    We report on the discovery, isolation, and use of a novel yellow fluorescent protein. Lucigen Yellow (LucY) binds one FAD molecule within its core, thus shielding it from water and maintaining its structure so that fluorescence is 10-fold higher than freely soluble FAD. LucY displays excitation and emission spectra characteristic of FAD, with 3 excitation peaks at 276nm, 377nm, and 460nm and a single emission peak at 530nm. These excitation and emission maxima provide the large Stokes shift beneficial to fluorescence experimentation. LucY belongs to the MurB family of UDP-N-acetylenolpyruvylglucosamine reductases. The high resolution crystal structure shows that in contrast to other structurally resolved MurB enzymes, LucY does not contain a potentially quenching aromatic residue near the FAD isoalloxazine ring, which may explain its increased fluorescence over related proteins. Using E. coli as a system in which to develop LucY as a reporter, we show that it is amenable to circular permutation and use as a reporter of protein-protein interaction. Fragmentation between its distinct domains renders LucY non-fluorescent, but fluorescence can be partially restored by fusion of the fragments to interacting protein domains. Thus, LucY may find application in Protein-fragment Complementation Assays for evaluating protein-protein interactions.

  19. LucY: A Versatile New Fluorescent Reporter Protein

    PubMed Central

    Auldridge, Michele E.; Franz, Laura P.; Bingman, Craig A.; Yennamalli, Ragothaman M.; Phillips, George N.; Mead, David; Steinmetz, Eric J.

    2015-01-01

    We report on the discovery, isolation, and use of a novel yellow fluorescent protein. Lucigen Yellow (LucY) binds one FAD molecule within its core, thus shielding it from water and maintaining its structure so that fluorescence is 10-fold higher than freely soluble FAD. LucY displays excitation and emission spectra characteristic of FAD, with 3 excitation peaks at 276nm, 377nm, and 460nm and a single emission peak at 530nm. These excitation and emission maxima provide the large Stokes shift beneficial to fluorescence experimentation. LucY belongs to the MurB family of UDP-N-acetylenolpyruvylglucosamine reductases. The high resolution crystal structure shows that in contrast to other structurally resolved MurB enzymes, LucY does not contain a potentially quenching aromatic residue near the FAD isoalloxazine ring, which may explain its increased fluorescence over related proteins. Using E. coli as a system in which to develop LucY as a reporter, we show that it is amenable to circular permutation and use as a reporter of protein-protein interaction. Fragmentation between its distinct domains renders LucY non-fluorescent, but fluorescence can be partially restored by fusion of the fragments to interacting protein domains. Thus, LucY may find application in Protein-fragment Complementation Assays for evaluating protein-protein interactions. PMID:25906065

  20. Common fluorescent proteins for single-molecule localization microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klementieva, Natalia V.; Bozhanova, Nina G.; Mishina, Natalie M.; Zagaynova, Elena V.; Lukyanov, Konstantin A.; Mishin, Alexander S.

    2015-07-01

    Super-resolution techniques for breaking the diffraction barrier are spread out over multiple studies nowadays. Single-molecule localization microscopy such as PALM, STORM, GSDIM, etc allow to get super-resolved images of cell ultrastructure by precise localization of individual fluorescent molecules via their temporal isolation. However, these methods are supposed the use of fluorescent dyes and proteins with special characteristics (photoactivation/photoconversion). At the same time, there is a need for retaining high photostability of fluorophores during long-term acquisition. Here, we first showed the potential of common red fluorescent protein for single-molecule localization microscopy based on spontaneous intrinsic blinking. Also, we assessed the effect of different imaging media on photobleaching of these fluorescent proteins. Monomeric orange and red fluorescent proteins were examined for stochastic switching from a dark state to a bright fluorescent state. We studied fusions with cytoskeletal proteins in NIH/3T3 and HeLa cells. Imaging was performed on the Nikon N-STORM system equipped with EMCCD camera. To define the optimal imaging conditions we tested several types of cell culture media and buffers. As a result, high-resolution images of cytoskeleton structure were obtained. Essentially, low-intensity light was sufficient to initiate the switching of tested red fluorescent protein reducing phototoxicity and provide long-term live-cell imaging.

  1. mMaple: A Photoconvertible Fluorescent Protein for Use in Multiple Imaging Modalities

    PubMed Central

    McEvoy, Ann L.; Hoi, Hiofan; Bates, Mark; Platonova, Evgenia; Cranfill, Paula J.; Baird, Michelle A.; Davidson, Michael W.; Ewers, Helge; Liphardt, Jan; Campbell, Robert E.

    2012-01-01

    Recent advances in fluorescence microscopy have extended the spatial resolution to the nanometer scale. Here, we report an engineered photoconvertible fluorescent protein (pcFP) variant, designated as mMaple, that is suited for use in multiple conventional and super-resolution imaging modalities, specifically, widefield and confocal microscopy, structured illumination microscopy (SIM), and single-molecule localization microscopy. We demonstrate the versatility of mMaple by obtaining super-resolution images of protein organization in Escherichia coli and conventional fluorescence images of mammalian cells. Beneficial features of mMaple include high photostability of the green state when expressed in mammalian cells and high steady state intracellular protein concentration of functional protein when expressed in E. coli. mMaple thus enables both fast live-cell ensemble imaging and high precision single molecule localization for a single pcFP-containing construct. PMID:23240015

  2. Subcellular localization of transiently expressed fluorescent fusion proteins.

    PubMed

    Collings, David A

    2013-01-01

    The recent and massive expansion in plant genomics data has generated a large number of gene sequences for which two seemingly simple questions need to be answered: where do the proteins encoded by these genes localize in cells, and what do they do? One widespread approach to answering the localization question has been to use particle bombardment to transiently express unknown proteins tagged with green fluorescent protein (GFP) or its numerous derivatives. Confocal fluorescence microscopy is then used to monitor the localization of the fluorescent protein as it hitches a ride through the cell. The subcellular localization of the fusion protein, if not immediately apparent, can then be determined by comparison to localizations generated by fluorescent protein fusions to known signalling sequences and proteins, or by direct comparison with fluorescent dyes. This review aims to be a tour guide for researchers wanting to travel this hitch-hiker's path, and for reviewers and readers who wish to understand their travel reports. It will describe some of the technology available for visualizing protein localizations, and some of the experimental approaches for optimizing and confirming localizations generated by particle bombardment in onion epidermal cells, the most commonly used experimental system. As the non-conservation of signal sequences in heterologous expression systems such as onion, and consequent mis-targeting of fusion proteins, is always a potential problem, the epidermal cells of the Argenteum mutant of pea are proposed as a model system. PMID:23996319

  3. Photoactivatable fluorescent proteins for super-resolution microscopy.

    PubMed

    Ishitsuka, Yuji; Nienhaus, Karin; Nienhaus, G Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    Super-resolution fluorescence microscopy techniques such as simulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy and photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) allow substructures, organelles or even proteins within a cell to be imaged with a resolution far below the diffraction limit of ~200 nm. The development of advanced fluorescent proteins, especially photoactivatable fluorescent proteins of the GFP family, has greatly contributed to the successful application of these techniques to live-cell imaging. Here, we will illustrate how two fluorescent proteins with different photoactivation mechanisms can be utilized in high resolution dual color PALM imaging to obtain insights into a cellular process that otherwise would not be accessible. We will explain how to set up and perform the experiment and how to use our latest software "a-livePALM" for fast and efficient data analysis. PMID:24718806

  4. Mechanism of chromophore assisted laser inactivation employing fluorescent proteins.

    PubMed

    McLean, Mark A; Rajfur, Zenon; Chen, Zaozao; Humphrey, David; Yang, Bing; Sligar, Stephen G; Jacobson, Ken

    2009-03-01

    Chromophore assisted laser inactivation (CALI) is a technique that uses irradiation of chromophores proximate to a target protein to inactivate function. Previously, enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) mediated CALI has been used to inactivate EGFP-fusion proteins in a spatio-temporally defined manner within cells, but the mechanism of inactivation is unknown. To help elucidate the mechanism of protein inactivation mediated by fluorescent protein CALI ([FP]-CALI), the activities of purified glutathione-S-transferase-FP (GST-EXFP) fusions were measured after laser irradiation in vitro. Singlet oxygen and free radical quenchers as well as the removal of oxygen inhibited CALI, indicating the involvement of a reactive oxygen species (ROS). At higher concentrations of protein, turbidity after CALI increased significantly indicating cross-linking of proximate fusion proteins suggesting that damage of residues on the surface of the protein, distant from the active site, results in inactivation. Control experiments removed sample heating as a possible cause of these effects. Different FP mutants fused to GST vary in their CALI efficiency in the order enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) > enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) > enhanced cyan fluorescent protein (ECFP), while a GST construct that binds fluorescein-based arsenical hairpin binder (FlAsH) results in significantly higher CALI efficiency than any of the fluorescent proteins (XFPs) tested. It is likely that the hierarchy of XFP effectiveness reflects the balance between ROS that are trapped within the XFP structure and cause fluorophore and chromophore bleaching and those that escape to effect CALI of proximate proteins. PMID:19199572

  5. Protein Engineering: Case Studies of Commercialized Engineered Products

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walsh, Gary

    2007-01-01

    Programs in biochemistry invariably encompass the principles of protein engineering. Students often display increased understanding and enthusiasm when theoretical concepts are underpinned by practical example. Herein are presented five case studies, each focusing upon a commercial protein product engineered to enhance its application-relevant…

  6. Fluorescence labeling of carbon nanotubes and visualization of a nanotube-protein hybrid under fluorescence microscope.

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, Shige H; Khan, Shahbaz; Maruyama, Hiroyuki; Nakayama, Yoshikazu; Takeyasu, Kunio

    2011-04-11

    Biological applications of carbon nanotubes have been hampered by the inability to visualize them using conventional optical microscope, which is the most common tool for the observation and measurement of biological processes. Recently, a number of fluorescence labeling methods for biomolecules and various fluorescence probes have been developed and widely utilized in biological fields. Therefore, labeling carbon nanotubes with such fluorophores under physiological conditions will be highly useful in their biological applications. In this Article, we present a method to fluorescently label nanotubes by combining a detergent and a fluorophore commonly used in biological experiments. Fluorophores carrying an amino group (Texas Red hydrazide or BODIPY FL-hydrazide) were covalently attached to the hydroxyl groups of Tween 20 using carbonyldiimidazole. Fluorescence microscopy demonstrated that nanotubes were efficiently solubilized and labeled by this fluorescently labeled detergent. By using this technique, we also demonstrated multicolor fluorescence imaging of a nanotube-protein hybrid. PMID:21395219

  7. Latest methods of fluorescence-based protein crystal identification

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, Arne; Betzel, Christian

    2015-01-28

    Fluorescence, whether intrinsic or by using trace fluorescent labeling, can be a powerful aid in macromolecule crystallization. Its use in screening for crystals is discussed here. Successful protein crystallization screening experiments are dependent upon the experimenter being able to identify positive outcomes. The introduction of fluorescence techniques has brought a powerful and versatile tool to the aid of the crystal grower. Trace fluorescent labeling, in which a fluorescent probe is covalently bound to a subpopulation (<0.5%) of the protein, enables the use of visible fluorescence. Alternatively, one can avoid covalent modification and use UV fluorescence, exploiting the intrinsic fluorescent amino acids present in most proteins. By the use of these techniques, crystals that had previously been obscured in the crystallization drop can readily be identified and distinguished from amorphous precipitate or salt crystals. Additionally, lead conditions that may not have been obvious as such under white-light illumination can be identified. In all cases review of the screening plate is considerably accelerated, as the eye can quickly note objects of increased intensity.

  8. Measurement of protein-like fluorescence in river and waste water using a handheld spectrophotometer.

    PubMed

    Baker, Andy; Ward, David; Lieten, Shakti H; Periera, Ryan; Simpson, Ellie C; Slater, Malcolm

    2004-07-01

    Protein-like fluorescence intensity in rivers increases with increasing anthropogenic DOM inputs from sewerage and farm wastes. Here, a portable luminescence spectrophotometer was used to investigate if this technology could be used to provide both field scientists with a rapid pollution monitoring tool and process control engineers with a portable waste water monitoring device, through the measurement of river and waste water tryptophan-like fluorescence from a range of rivers in NE England and from effluents from within two waste water treatment plants. The portable spectrophotometer determined that waste waters and sewerage effluents had the highest tryptophan-like fluorescence intensity, urban streams had an intermediate tryptophan-like fluorescence intensity, and the upstream river samples of good water quality the lowest tryptophan-like fluorescence intensity. Replicate samples demonstrated that fluorescence intensity is reproducible to +/- 20% for low fluorescence, 'clean' river water samples and +/- 5% for urban water and waste waters. Correlations between fluorescence measured by the portable spectrophotometer with a conventional bench machine were 0.91; (Spearman's rho, n = 143), demonstrating that the portable spectrophotometer does correlate with tryptophan-like fluorescence intensity measured using the bench spectrophotometer. PMID:15223288

  9. Two-photon excited UV fluorescence for protein crystal detection

    SciTech Connect

    Madden, Jeremy T.; DeWalt, Emma L.; Simpson, Garth J.

    2011-10-01

    Complementary measurements using SONICC and TPE-UVF allow the sensitive and selective detection of protein crystals. Two-photon excited ultraviolet fluorescence (TPE-UVF) microscopy is explored for sensitive protein-crystal detection as a complement to second-order nonlinear optical imaging of chiral crystals (SONICC). Like conventional ultraviolet fluorescence (UVF), TPE-UVF generates image contrast based on the intrinsic fluorescence of aromatic residues, generally producing higher fluorescence emission within crystals than the mother liquor by nature of the higher local protein concentration. However, TPE-UVF has several advantages over conventional UVF, including (i) insensitivity to optical scattering, allowing imaging in turbid matrices, (ii) direct compatibility with conventional optical plates and windows by using visible light for excitation, (iii) elimination of potentially damaging out-of-plane UV excitation, (iv) improved signal to noise through background reduction from out-of-plane excitation and (v) relatively simple integration into instrumentation developed for SONICC.

  10. Spectral diversity of fluorescent proteins from the anthozoan Corynactis californica.

    PubMed

    Schnitzler, Christine E; Keenan, Robert J; McCord, Robert; Matysik, Artur; Christianson, Lynne M; Haddock, Steven H D

    2008-01-01

    Color morphs of the temperate, nonsymbiotic corallimorpharian Corynactis californica show variation in pigment pattern and coloring. We collected seven distinct color morphs of C. californica from subtidal locations in Monterey Bay, California, and found that tissue- and color-morph-specific expression of at least six different genes is responsible for this variation. Each morph contains at least three to four distinct genetic loci that code for these colors, and one morph contains at least five loci. These genes encode a subfamily of new GFP-like proteins, which fluoresce across the visible spectrum from green to red, while sharing between 75% to 89% pairwise amino-acid identity. Biophysical characterization reveals interesting spectral properties, including a bright yellow protein, an orange protein, and a red protein exhibiting a "fluorescent timer" phenotype. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the FP genes from this species evolved together but that diversification of anthozoan fluorescent proteins has taken place outside of phylogenetic constraints, especially within the Corallimorpharia. The discovery of more examples of fluorescent proteins in a non-bioluminescent, nonsymbiotic anthozoan highlights possibilities of adaptive ecological significance unrelated to light regulation for algal symbionts. The patterns and colors of fluorescent proteins in C. californica and similar species may hold meaning for organisms that possess the visual pigments to distinguish them. PMID:18330643

  11. Engineered Upconversion Nanoparticles for Resolving Protein Interactions inside Living Cells.

    PubMed

    Drees, Christoph; Raj, Athira Naduviledathu; Kurre, Rainer; Busch, Karin B; Haase, Markus; Piehler, Jacob

    2016-09-12

    Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) convert near-infrared into visible light at much lower excitation densities than those used in classic two-photon absorption microscopy. Here, we engineered <50 nm UCNPs for application as efficient lanthanide resonance energy transfer (LRET) donors inside living cells. By optimizing the dopant concentrations and the core-shell structure for higher excitation densities, we observed enhanced UCNP emission as well as strongly increased sensitized acceptor fluorescence. For the application of these UCNPs in complex biological environments, we developed a biocompatible surface coating functionalized with a nanobody recognizing green fluorescent protein (GFP). Thus, rapid and specific targeting to GFP-tagged fusion proteins in the mitochondrial outer membrane and detection of protein interactions by LRET in living cells was achieved. PMID:27510808

  12. Measuring and Sorting Cell Populations Expressing Isospectral Fluorescent Proteins with Different Fluorescence Lifetimes

    PubMed Central

    Naivar, Mark; Houston, Jessica P.; Brent, Roger

    2014-01-01

    Study of signal transduction in live cells benefits from the ability to visualize and quantify light emitted by fluorescent proteins (XFPs) fused to different signaling proteins. However, because cell signaling proteins are often present in small numbers, and because the XFPs themselves are poor fluorophores, the amount of emitted light, and the observable signal in these studies, is often small. An XFP's fluorescence lifetime contains additional information about the immediate environment of the fluorophore that can augment the information from its weak light signal. Here, we constructed and expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae variants of Teal Fluorescent Protein (TFP) and Citrine that were isospectral but had shorter fluorescence lifetimes, ∼1.5 ns vs ∼3 ns. We modified microscopic and flow cytometric instruments to measure fluorescence lifetimes in live cells. We developed digital hardware and a measure of lifetime called a “pseudophasor” that we could compute quickly enough to permit sorting by lifetime in flow. We used these abilities to sort mixtures of cells expressing TFP and the short-lifetime TFP variant into subpopulations that were respectively 97% and 94% pure. This work demonstrates the feasibility of using information about fluorescence lifetime to help quantify cell signaling in living cells at the high throughput provided by flow cytometry. Moreover, it demonstrates the feasibility of isolating and recovering subpopulations of cells with different XFP lifetimes for subsequent experimentation. PMID:25302964

  13. Rational design of enhanced photoresistance in a photoswitchable fluorescent protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, Chenxi; Byrdin, Martin; El Khatib, Mariam; Henry, Xavier; Adam, Virgile; Bourgeois, Dominique

    2015-03-01

    Fluorescent proteins are particularly susceptible to photobleaching, the permanent loss of fluorescence emission resulting from photodestruction of the chromophore. In the case of Reversibly Switchable Fluorescent Proteins (RSFPs), which can be switched back and forth between a non-fluorescent and a fluorescent state, the achievable number of switching cycles is limited by photobleaching, a process known as photofatigue. Photofatigue has become a crucial limitation in a number of advanced applications based on repeated photoswitching of RSFPs, notably in the field of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. Here, based on our previous structural investigation of photobleaching mechanisms in IrisFP, an RSFP also capable of green-to-red photoconversion, we present the rational design of a single-mutant IrisFP-M159A that displays considerably enhanced photostability. The results suggest that, under moderate illumination intensities, photobleaching of IrisFP-like Anthozoan fluorescent proteins such as EosFP, Dendra or Dronpa derivatives is mainly driven by an oxygen-dependent mechanism resulting in the irreversible sulfoxidation of methionine 159. The photofatigue decay profiles of IrisFP and its photoresistant mutant IrisFP-M159A were investigated in different experimental conditions, in vitro and in cellulo. Although the performance of the mutant was found to be always superior, the results showed switching behaviors strongly dependent on the nanoenvironment. Thus, in general, assessment of photostability and switching properties of RSFPs should be carried out in real experimental conditions.

  14. Manipulating fluorescence quenching efficiency of graphene by defect engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Xitao; Zafar, Amina; Nan, Haiyan; Yu, Yuanfang; Zhao, Weiwei; Liang, Zheng; Zhang, Xueao; Ni, Zhenhua

    2016-05-01

    We report on the manipulation of the fluorescence quenching of Rhodamine 6G (R6G) on graphene by defect engineering via hydrogen and Ar+ plasma treatments. The amount and nature of defects in graphene were estimated on the basis of the Raman intensity ratios I(D)/I(G) and I(D)/I(D‧) of graphene. Results showed that the quenching factor (QF) gradually decreases from ∼40 to ∼4 and ∼12 for hydrogenated graphene (sp3 defects) and Ar+-plasma-treated graphene (vacancy-like defects), respectively, with different amounts of defects. Our results indicated that the fluorescence quenching efficiency of graphene is strongly dependent on the amount and nature of defects.

  15. Protein localization in electron micrographs using fluorescence nanoscopy

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Shigeki; Punge, Annedore; Hollopeter, Gunther; Willig, Katrin I.; Hobson, Robert John; Davis, M. Wayne; Hell, Stefan W.; Jorgensen, Erik M.

    2010-01-01

    A complete portrait of a cell requires a detailed description of its molecular topography: proteins must be linked to particular organelles. Immuno-electron microscopy can reveal locations of proteins with nanometer resolution but is limited by the quality of fixation, the paucity of antibodies, and the inaccessibility of the antigens. Here, we describe correlative fluorescence electron microscopy for the nanoscopic localization of proteins in electron micrographs. Proteins tagged with Citrine or tdEos were expressed in Caenorhabditis elegans, fixed and embedded. Tagged proteins were imaged from ultrathin sections using stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED) or photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM). Fluorescence was correlated with organelles imaged in electron micrographs from the same sections. These methods were used to successfully localize histones, a mitochondrial protein, and a presynaptic dense projection protein in electron micrographs. PMID:21102453

  16. Protein specific fluorescent microspheres for labelling a protein

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rembaum, Alan (Inventor)

    1982-01-01

    Highly fluorescent, stable and biocompatible microspheres are obtained by copolymerizing an acrylic monomer containing a covalent bonding group such as hydroxyl, amine or carboxyl, for example, hydroxyethylmethacrylate, with an addition polymerizable fluorescent comonomer such as dansyl allyl amine. A lectin or antibody is bound to the covalent site to provide cell specificity. When the microspheres are added to a cell suspension the marked microspheres will specifically label a cell membrane by binding to a specific receptor site thereon. The labeled membrane can then be detected by fluorescence of the fluorescent monomer.

  17. Exploiting fluorescence for multiplex immunoassays on protein microarrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herbáth, Melinda; Papp, Krisztián; Balogh, Andrea; Matkó, János; Prechl, József

    2014-09-01

    Protein microarray technology is becoming the method of choice for identifying protein interaction partners, detecting specific proteins, carbohydrates and lipids, or for characterizing protein interactions and serum antibodies in a massively parallel manner. Availability of the well-established instrumentation of DNA arrays and development of new fluorescent detection instruments promoted the spread of this technique. Fluorescent detection has the advantage of high sensitivity, specificity, simplicity and wide dynamic range required by most measurements. Fluorescence through specifically designed probes and an increasing variety of detection modes offers an excellent tool for such microarray platforms. Measuring for example the level of antibodies, their isotypes and/or antigen specificity simultaneously can offer more complex and comprehensive information about the investigated biological phenomenon, especially if we take into consideration that hundreds of samples can be measured in a single assay. Not only body fluids, but also cell lysates, extracted cellular components, and intact living cells can be analyzed on protein arrays for monitoring functional responses to printed samples on the surface. As a rapidly evolving area, protein microarray technology offers a great bulk of information and new depth of knowledge. These are the features that endow protein arrays with wide applicability and robust sample analyzing capability. On the whole, protein arrays are emerging new tools not just in proteomics, but glycomics, lipidomics, and are also important for immunological research. In this review we attempt to summarize the technical aspects of planar fluorescent microarray technology along with the description of its main immunological applications.

  18. Quantum dots and fluorescent protein FRET-based biosensors.

    PubMed

    Boeneman, Kelly; Delehanty, James B; Susumu, Kimihiro; Stewart, Michael H; Deschamps, Jeffrey R; Medintz, Igor L

    2012-01-01

    There has been considerable recent interest in the creation of nanoparticle-biomolecule hybrid materials for uses such as in vitro and in vivo biosensing, biological imaging, and drug -delivery. Nanoparticles have a high surface to volume ratio, making them capable of being decorated with -various biomolecules on their surface which retain their biological activity. Techniques to bind these biomolecules to nanoparticle surfaces are also advancing rapidly. Here we demonstrate hybrid materials assembled around CdSe/ZnS core/shell semiconductor quantum dots (QDs). These intrinsically fluorescent materials are conjugated to the fluorescent proteins YFP, mCherry and the light harvesting complex b-phycoerythrin (b-PE). QDs have fluorescent properties that make them ideal as donor fluorophores for Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) while the fluorescent proteins are able to act as FRET acceptors displaying many advantages over organic dyes. We examine FRET interactions between QDs and all three fluorescent proteins. Furthermore, we show QD-mCherry hybrid materials can be utilized for in vitro biosensing of caspase-3 enzymatic activity. We further show that QDs and fluorescent proteins can be conjugated together intracellularly with strong potential for live-cell imaging and biosensing applications. PMID:22101713

  19. mKikGR, a Monomeric Photoswitchable Fluorescent Protein

    PubMed Central

    Kochaniak, Anna B.; Miyawaki, Atsushi; van Oijen, Antoine M.

    2008-01-01

    The recent demonstration and utilization of fluorescent proteins whose fluorescence can be switched on and off has greatly expanded the toolkit of molecular and cell biology. These photoswitchable proteins have facilitated the characterization of specifically tagged molecular species in the cell and have enabled fluorescence imaging of intracellular structures with a resolution far below the classical diffraction limit of light. Applications are limited, however, by the fast photobleaching, slow photoswitching, and oligomerization typical for photoswitchable proteins currently available. Here, we report the molecular cloning and spectroscopic characterization of mKikGR, a monomeric version of the previously reported KikGR that displays high photostability and switching rates. Furthermore, we present single-molecule imaging experiments that demonstrate that individual mKikGR proteins can be localized with a precision of better than 10 nanometers, suggesting their suitability for super-resolution imaging. PMID:19079591

  20. Engineering Cells to Improve Protein Expression

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Su; Shiloach, Joseph; Betenbaugh, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Cellular engineering of bacteria, fungi, insect cells and mammalian cells is a promising methodology to improve recombinant protein production for structural, biochemical, and commercial applications. Increased understanding of the host organism biology has suggested engineering strategies targeting bottlenecks in transcription, translation, protein processing and secretory pathways, as well as cell growth and survival. A combination of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology has been used to improve the properties of cells for protein production, which has resulted in enhanced yields of multiple protein classes. PMID:24704806

  1. Two-photon excited UV fluorescence for protein crystal detection

    PubMed Central

    Madden, Jeremy T.; DeWalt, Emma L.; Simpson, Garth J.

    2011-01-01

    Two-photon excited ultraviolet fluorescence (TPE-UVF) microscopy is explored for sensitive protein-crystal detection as a complement to second-order nonlinear optical imaging of chiral crystals (SONICC). Like conventional ultraviolet fluorescence (UVF), TPE-UVF generates image contrast based on the intrinsic fluorescence of aromatic residues, generally producing higher fluorescence emission within crystals than the mother liquor by nature of the higher local protein concentration. However, TPE-UVF has several advantages over conventional UVF, including (i) insensitivity to optical scattering, allowing imaging in turbid matrices, (ii) direct compatibility with conventional optical plates and windows by using visible light for excitation, (iii) elimination of potentially damaging out-of-plane UV excitation, (iv) improved signal to noise through background reduction from out-of-plane excitation and (v) relatively simple integration into instrumentation developed for SONICC. PMID:21931215

  2. Expansion Microscopy with Conventional Antibodies and Fluorescent Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Chozinski, Tyler J.; Halpern, Aaron R.; Okawa, Haruhisa; Kim, Hyeon-Jin; Tremel, Grant J.; Wong, Rachel O.L.; Vaughan, Joshua C.

    2016-01-01

    Expansion microscopy is a recently introduced technique in which fluorophores on fixed specimens are linked to a swellable polymer that is physically expanded to enable super-resolution microscopy with ordinary microscopes. We have developed and characterized new methods for linking fluorophores to the polymer that now enable expansion microscopy with conventional fluorescently-labeled antibodies and fluorescent proteins. Our methods simplify the procedure, expand the palette of compatible labels, and will aid in rapid dissemination of the technique. PMID:27064647

  3. An Engineered Split Intein for Photoactivated Protein Trans-Splicing.

    PubMed

    Wong, Stanley; Mosabbir, Abdullah A; Truong, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Protein splicing is mediated by inteins that auto-catalytically join two separated protein fragments with a peptide bond. Here we engineered a genetically encoded synthetic photoactivatable intein (named LOVInC), by using the light-sensitive LOV2 domain from Avena sativa as a switch to modulate the splicing activity of the split DnaE intein from Nostoc punctiforme. Periodic blue light illumination of LOVInC induced protein splicing activity in mammalian cells. To demonstrate the broad applicability of LOVInC, synthetic protein systems were engineered for the light-induced reassembly of several target proteins such as fluorescent protein markers, a dominant positive mutant of RhoA, caspase-7, and the genetically encoded Ca2+ indicator GCaMP2. Spatial precision of LOVInC was demonstrated by targeting activity to specific mammalian cells. Thus, LOVInC can serve as a general platform for engineering light-based control for modulating the activity of many different proteins. PMID:26317656

  4. Engineering protein scaffolds for protein separation, biocatalysis and nanotechnology applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Fang

    Globally, there is growing appreciation for developing a sustainable economy that uses eco-efficient bio-processes. Biotechnology provides an increasing range of tools for industry to help reduce cost and improve environmental performance. Inspired by the naturally evolved machineries of protein scaffolds and their binding ligands, synthetic protein scaffolds were engineered based on cohesin-dockerin interactions and metal chelating peptides to tackle the challenges and make improvements in three specific areas: (1) protein purification, (2) biofuel cells, and (3) nanomaterial synthesis. The first objective was to develop efficient and cost-effective non-chromatographic purification processes to purify recombinant proteins in an effort to meet the dramatically growing market of protein drugs. In our design, the target protein was genetically fused with a dockerin domain from Clostridium thermocellum and direct purification and recovery was achieved using thermo-responsive elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) scaffold containing the cohesin domain from the same species. By exploiting the highly specific interaction between the dockerin and cohesin domain and the reversible aggregation property of ELP, highly purified and active dockerin-tagged proteins, such as endoglucanase CelA, chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) and enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP), were recovered directly from crude cell extracts in a single purification step with yields achieving over 90%. Incorporation of a self-cleaving intein domain enabled rapid removal of the affinity tag from the target proteins by another cycle of thermal precipitation. The purification cost can be further reduced by regenerating and recycling the ELP-cohesin capturing scaffolds. However, due to the high binding affinity between cohesin and dockerin domains, the bound dockerin-intein tag cannot be completely disassociated from ELP-cohesin scaffold after binding. Therefore, a truncated dockerin with the calcium

  5. Dynamic Stabilization of Expressed Proteins in Engineered Diatom Biosilica Matrices.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Yijia; Ford, Nicole R; Hecht, Karen A; Roesijadi, Guritno; Squier, Thomas C

    2016-05-18

    Self-assembly of recombinant proteins within the biosilica of living diatoms represents a means to construct functional materials in a reproducible and scalable manner that will enable applications that harness the inherent specificities of proteins to sense and respond to environmental cues. Here we describe the use of a silaffin-derived lysine-rich 39-amino-acid targeting sequence (Sil3T8) that directs a single chain fragment variable (scFv) antibody or an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) to assemble within the biosilica frustule, resulting in abundance of >200 000 proteins per frustule. Using either a fluorescent ligand bound to the scFv or the intrinsic fluorescence of EGFP, we monitored protein conformational dynamics, accessibility to external quenchers, binding affinity, and conformational stability. Like proteins in solution, proteins within isolated frustules undergo isotropic rotational motion, but with 2-fold increases in rotational correlation times that are indicative of weak macromolecular associations within the biosilica. Solvent accessibilities and high-affinity (pM) binding are comparable to those in solution. In contrast to solution conditions, scFv antibodies within the biosilica matrix retain their binding affinity in the presence of chaotropic agents (i.e., 8 M urea). Together, these results argue that dramatic increases in protein conformational stability within the biosilica matrices arise through molecular crowding, acting to retain native protein folds and associated functionality with the potential to allow the utility of engineered proteins under a range of harsh environmental conditions associated with environmental sensing and industrial catalytic transformations. PMID:27139003

  6. Extrinsic Fluorescent Dyes as Tools for Protein Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Hawe, Andrea; Sutter, Marc

    2008-01-01

    Noncovalent, extrinsic fluorescent dyes are applied in various fields of protein analysis, e.g. to characterize folding intermediates, measure surface hydrophobicity, and detect aggregation or fibrillation. The main underlying mechanisms, which explain the fluorescence properties of many extrinsic dyes, are solvent relaxation processes and (twisted) intramolecular charge transfer reactions, which are affected by the environment and by interactions of the dyes with proteins. In recent time, the use of extrinsic fluorescent dyes such as ANS, Bis-ANS, Nile Red, Thioflavin T and others has increased, because of their versatility, sensitivity and suitability for high-throughput screening. The intention of this review is to give an overview of available extrinsic dyes, explain their spectral properties, and show illustrative examples of their various applications in protein characterization. PMID:18172579

  7. A palette of fluorescent proteins optimized for diverse cellular environments

    PubMed Central

    Costantini, Lindsey M.; Baloban, Mikhail; Markwardt, Michele L.; Rizzo, Mark; Guo, Feng; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.; Snapp, Erik L.

    2015-01-01

    To perform quantitative live cell imaging, investigators require fluorescent reporters that accurately report protein localization and levels, while minimally perturbing the cell. Yet, within the biochemically distinct environments of cellular organelles, popular fluorescent proteins (FPs), including EGFP, can be unreliable for quantitative imaging, resulting in underestimation of protein levels and incorrect localization. Specifically, within the secretory pathway, significant populations of FPs misfold and fail to fluoresce due to non-native disulphide bond formation. Furthermore, transmembrane FP fusion constructs can disrupt organelle architecture due to oligomerizing tendencies of numerous common FPs. Here, we describe a powerful set of bright and inert FPs optimized for use in multiple cellular compartments, especially oxidizing environments and biological membranes. Also, we provide new insights into use of red FPs in the secretory pathway. Our monomeric "oxFPs" finally resolve long standing, underappreciated, and important problems of cell biology and should be useful for a number of applications. PMID:26158227

  8. Integrated imaging instrument for self-calibrated fluorescence protein microarrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reddington, A. P.; Monroe, M. R.; Ünlü, M. S.

    2013-10-01

    Protein microarrays, or multiplexed and high-throughput assays, monitor multiple protein binding events to facilitate the understanding of disease progression and cell physiology. Fluorescence imaging is a popular method to detect proteins captured by immobilized probes with high sensitivity and specificity. Reliability of fluorescence assays depends on achieving minimal inter- and intra-assay probe immobilization variation, an ongoing challenge for protein microarrays. Therefore, it is desirable to establish a label-free method to quantify the probe density prior to target incubation to calibrate the fluorescence readout. Previously, a silicon oxide on silicon chip design was introduced to enhance the fluorescence signal and enable interferometric imaging to self-calibrate the signal with the immobilized probe density. In this paper, an integrated interferometric reflectance imaging sensor and wide-field fluorescence instrument is introduced for sensitive and calibrated microarray measurements. This platform is able to analyze a 2.5 mm × 3.4 mm area, or 200 spots (100 μm diameter with 200 μm pitch), in a single field-of-view.

  9. Structural Determinants of Improved Fluorescence in a Family of Bacteriophytochrome-Based Infrared Fluorescent Proteins: Insights from Continuum Electrostatic Calculations and Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Feliks, Mikolaj; Lafaye, Céline; Shu, Xiaokun; Royant, Antoine; Field, Martin

    2016-08-01

    Using X-ray crystallography, continuum electrostatic calculations, and molecular dynamics simulations, we have studied the structure, protonation behavior, and dynamics of the biliverdin chromophore and its molecular environment in a series of genetically engineered infrared fluorescent proteins (IFPs) based on the chromophore-binding domain of the Deinococcus radiodurans bacteriophytochrome. Our study suggests that the experimentally observed enhancement of fluorescent properties results from the improved rigidity and planarity of the biliverdin chromophore, in particular of the first two pyrrole rings neighboring the covalent linkage to the protein. We propose that the increases in the levels of both motion and bending of the chromophore out of planarity favor the decrease in fluorescence. The chromophore-binding pocket in some of the studied proteins, in particular the weakly fluorescent parent protein, is shown to be readily accessible to water molecules from the solvent. These waters entering the chromophore region form hydrogen bond networks that affect the otherwise planar conformation of the first three rings of the chromophore. On the basis of our simulations, the enhancement of fluorescence in IFPs can be achieved either by reducing the mobility of water molecules in the vicinity of the chromophore or by limiting the interactions of the nearby protein residues with the chromophore. Finally, simulations performed at both low and neutral pH values highlight differences in the dynamics of the chromophore and shed light on the mechanism of fluorescence loss at low pH. PMID:27471775

  10. High-throughput analysis and protein engineering using microcapillary arrays.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bob; Lim, Sungwon; Kannan, Arvind; Alford, Spencer C; Sunden, Fanny; Herschlag, Daniel; Dimov, Ivan K; Baer, Thomas M; Cochran, Jennifer R

    2016-02-01

    We describe a multipurpose technology platform, termed μSCALE (microcapillary single-cell analysis and laser extraction), that enables massively parallel, quantitative biochemical and biophysical measurements on millions of protein variants expressed from yeast or bacteria. μSCALE spatially segregates single cells within a microcapillary array, enabling repeated imaging, cell growth and protein expression. We performed high-throughput analysis of cells and their protein products using a range of fluorescent assays, including binding-affinity measurements and dynamic enzymatic assays. A precise laser-based extraction method allows rapid recovery of live clones and their genetic material from microcapillaries for further study. With μSCALE, we discovered a new antibody against a clinical cancer target, evolved a fluorescent protein biosensor and engineered an enzyme to reduce its sensitivity to its inhibitor. These protein analysis and engineering applications each have unique assay requirements and different host organisms, highlighting the flexibility and technical capabilities of the μSCALE platform. PMID:26641932

  11. Imaging cellular dynamics in vivo with multicolor fluorescent proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffman, Robert M.

    2005-04-01

    The new field of in vivo cell biology is being developed with multi-colored fluorescent proteins. With the use of fluorescent proteins, the behavior of individual cells can be visualized in the living animal. An example of the new cell biology is dual-color fluorescence imaging using red fluorescent protein (RFP)-expressing tumors transplanted in green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing transgenic mice. These models show with great clarity the details of the tumor-stroma cell-cell interaction especially tumor-induced angiogenesis, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, stromal fibroblasts and macrophages. Another example is the color-coding of cells with RFP or GFP such that both cell types and their interaction can be simultaneously visualized in vivo. Stem cells can also be visualized and tracked in vivo with fluorescent proteins. Mice, in which the regulatory elements of the stem-cell marker nestin drive GFP expression, can be used to visualize hair follicle stem cells including their ability to form hair follicles as well as blood vessels. Dual-color cells expressing GFP in the nucleus and RFP in the cytoplasm enable real-time visualization of nuclear-cytoplasm dynamics including cell cycle events and apoptosis. Dual-color cells also enable the in vivo imaging of cell and nuclear deformation as well as trafficking in capillaries in living animals. Multiple-color labeling of cells will enable multiple events to be simultaneously visualized in vivo including cell-cell interaction, gene expression, ion fluxes, protein and organelle trafficking, chromosome dynamics and numerous other processes currently still studied in vitro.

  12. Live-cell multiphoton fluorescence correlation spectroscopy with an improved large Stokes shift fluorescent protein

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Yinghua; Meurer, Matthias; Raghavan, Sarada; Rebane, Aleksander; Lindquist, Jake R.; Santos, Sofia; Kats, Ilia; Davidson, Michael W.; Mazitschek, Ralph; Hughes, Thomas E.; Drobizhev, Mikhail; Knop, Michael; Shah, Jagesh V.

    2015-01-01

    We report an improved variant of mKeima, a monomeric long Stokes shift red fluorescent protein, hmKeima8.5. The increased intracellular brightness and large Stokes shift (∼180 nm) make it an excellent partner with teal fluorescent protein (mTFP1) for multiphoton, multicolor applications. Excitation of this pair by a single multiphoton excitation wavelength (MPE, 850 nm) yields well-separable emission peaks (∼120-nm separation). Using this pair, we measure homo- and hetero-oligomerization interactions in living cells via multiphoton excitation fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (MPE-FCS). Using tandem dimer proteins and small-molecule inducible dimerization domains, we demonstrate robust and quantitative detection of intracellular protein–protein interactions. We also use MPE-FCCS to detect drug–protein interactions in the intracellular environment using a Coumarin 343 (C343)-conjugated drug and hmKeima8.5 as a fluorescence pair. The mTFP1/hmKeima8.5 and C343/hmKeima8.5 combinations, together with our calibration constructs, provide a practical and broadly applicable toolbox for the investigation of molecular interactions in the cytoplasm of living cells. PMID:25877871

  13. Quantitative Fluorescence Studies in Living Cells: Extending Fluorescence Fluctuation Spectroscopy to Peripheral Membrane Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Elizabeth Myhra

    The interactions of peripheral membrane proteins with both membrane lipids and proteins are vital for many cellular processes including membrane trafficking, cellular signaling, and cell growth/regulation. Building accurate biophysical models of these processes requires quantitative characterization of the behavior of peripheral membrane proteins, yet methods to quantify their interactions inside living cells are very limited. Because peripheral membrane proteins usually exist both in membrane-bound and cytoplasmic forms, the separation of these two populations is a key challenge. This thesis aims at addressing this challenge by extending fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy (FFS) to simultaneously measure the oligomeric state of peripheral membrane proteins in the cytoplasm and at the plasma membrane. We developed a new method based on z-scan FFS that accounts for the fluorescence contributions from cytoplasmic and membrane layers by incorporating a fluorescence intensity z-scan through the cell. H-Ras-EGFP served as a model system to demonstrate the feasibility of the technique. The resolvability and stability of z-scanning was determined as well as the oligomeric state of H-Ras-EGFP at the plasma membrane and in the cytoplasm. Further, we successfully characterized the binding affinity of a variety of proteins to the plasma membrane by quantitative analysis of the z-scan fluorescence intensity profile. This analysis method, which we refer to as z-scan fluorescence profile deconvoution, was further used in combination with dual-color competition studies to determine the lipid specificity of protein binding. Finally, we applied z-scan FFS to provide insight into the early assembly steps of the HTLV-1 retrovirus.

  14. Electronic circular dichroism of fluorescent proteins: a computational study.

    PubMed

    Pikulska, Anna; Steindal, Arnfinn Hykkerud; Beerepoot, Maarten T P; Pecul, Magdalena

    2015-02-26

    The electronic circular dichroism (ECD) properties of the green fluorescent protein and other fluorescent proteins have been calculated with density functional theory. The influence of different embedding models on the ECD signal of the chromophore has been investigated by modeling the protein environment by the polarizable continuum model (QM/PCM), by the polarizable embedding model (PE-QM/MM), by treating the minimal environment quantum mechanically at the same footing as the chromophore (QM/QM), and by adding the remaining part of the protein by means of PCM (QM/QM/PCM). The rotatory strength is found to be more sensitive than the oscillatory strength to changes in the geometry of the chromophore and its surroundings and to the type of embedding model used. In general, explicit embedding of the surrounding protein (PE-QM/MM or QM/QM) induces an increase in the rotatory strength of the chromophore. Explicit inclusion of the whole protein through polarizable embedding is found to be an affordable embedding model that gives the correct sign of the rotatory strength for all fluorescent proteins. PCM is useful as a first approximation to protein environment effects, but as a rule seems to underestimate the rotatory strength. PMID:25646666

  15. Quantitative measurement of intracellular protein dynamics using photobleaching or photoactivation of fluorescent proteins.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Tomoki; Nagai, Takeharu

    2014-12-01

    Unlike in vitro protein dynamics, intracellular protein dynamics are intricately regulated by protein-protein interactions or interactions between proteins and other cellular components, including nucleic acids, the plasma membrane and the cytoskeleton. Alteration of these dynamics plays a crucial role in physiological phenomena such as gene expression and cell division. Live-cell imaging via microscopy with the inherent properties of fluorescent proteins, i.e. photobleaching and photoconversion, or fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, provides insight into the movement of proteins and their interactions with cellular components. This article reviews techniques based on photo-induced changes in the physicochemical properties of fluorescent proteins to measure protein dynamics inside living cells, and it also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of these techniques. PMID:25268018

  16. Mapping fast protein folding with multiple-site fluorescent probes

    PubMed Central

    Prigozhin, Maxim B.; Chao, Shu-Han; Sukenik, Shahar; Pogorelov, Taras V.; Gruebele, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Fast protein folding involves complex dynamics in many degrees of freedom, yet microsecond folding experiments provide only low-resolution structural information. We enhance the structural resolution of the five-helix bundle protein λ6–85 by engineering into it three fluorescent tryptophan–tyrosine contact probes. The probes report on distances between three different helix pairs: 1–2, 1–3, and 3–2. Temperature jump relaxation experiments on these three mutants reveal two different kinetic timescales: a slower timescale for 1–3 and a faster one for the two contacts involving helix 2. We hypothesize that these differences arise from a single folding mechanism that forms contacts on different timescales, and not from changes of mechanism due to adding the probes. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the corresponding three distances in one published single-trajectory all-atom molecular-dynamics simulation of a similar mutant. Autocorrelation analysis of the trajectory reveals the same “slow” and “fast” distance change as does experiment, but on a faster timescale; smoothing the trajectory in time shows that this ordering is robust and persists into the microsecond folding timescale. Structural investigation of the all-atom computational data suggests that helix 2 misfolds to produce a short-lived off-pathway trap, in agreement with the experimental finding that the 1–2 and 3–2 distances involving helix 2 contacts form a kinetic grouping distinct from 1 to 3. Our work demonstrates that comparison between experiment and simulation can be extended to several order parameters, providing a stronger mechanistic test. PMID:26080403

  17. Protein rotational motion in solution measured by polarized fluorescence depletion.

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, T M; Barisas, B G

    1986-01-01

    A microscope-based system is described for directly measuring protein rotational motion in viscous environments such as cell membranes by polarized fluorescence depletion (PFD). Proteins labeled with fluorophores having a high quantum yield for triplet formation, such as eosin isothiocyanate (EITC), are examined anaerobically in a fluorescence microscope. An acousto-optic modulator generates a several-microsecond pulse of linearly polarized light which produces an orientationally-asymmetric depletion of ground state fluorescence in the sample. When the sample is then probed with light polarized parallel to the excitation pulse, fluorescence recovers over 0-1,000 microseconds as the sum of two exponentials. One exponential corresponds to triplet decay and the other to the rotational relaxation. An exciting pulse perpendicular to the probe beam is then applied. Fluorescence recovery following this pulse is the difference of the same two exponentials. Equations for fluorescence recovery kinetics to be expected in various experimentally significant cases are derived. Least-squares analysis using these equations then permits the triplet lifetime and rotational correlation time to be determined directly from PFD data. Instrumentation for PFD measurements is discussed that permits photobleaching recovery measurements of lateral diffusion coefficients using the same microscope system. With this apparatus, both rotational and translational diffusion coefficients (Dr, Dt) were measured for EITC-labeled bovine serum albumin in glycerol solutions. Values obtained for Dr and Dt are discussed in light of both the PFD models and the experimental system. PMID:3730506

  18. Fluorescent Protein Nanowire-Mediated Protein Microarrays for Multiplexed and Highly Sensitive Pathogen Detection.

    PubMed

    Men, Dong; Zhou, Juan; Li, Wei; Leng, Yan; Chen, Xinwen; Tao, Shengce; Zhang, Xian-En

    2016-07-13

    Protein microarrays are powerful tools for high-throughput and simultaneous detection of different target molecules in complex biological samples. However, the sensitivity of conventional fluorescence-labeling protein detection methods is limited by the availability of signal molecules for binding to the target molecule. Here, we built a multifunctional fluorescent protein nanowire (FNw) by harnessing self-assembly of yeast amyloid protein. The FNw integrated a large number of fluorescent molecules, thereby enhancing the fluorescent signal output in target detection. The FNw was then combined with protein microarray technology to detect proteins derived from two pathogens, including influenza virus (hemagglutinin 1, HA1) and human immunodeficiency virus (p24 and gp120). The resulting detection sensitivity achieved a 100-fold improvement over a commercially available detection reagent. PMID:27315221

  19. Changing blue fluorescent protein to green fluorescent protein using chemical RNA editing as a novel strategy in genetic restoration.

    PubMed

    Vu, Luyen T; Nguyen, Thanh T K; Alam, Shafiul; Sakamoto, Takashi; Fujimoto, Kenzo; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Tsukahara, Toshifumi

    2015-11-01

    Using the transition from cytosine of BFP (blue fluorescent protein) gene to uridine of GFP (green fluorescent protein) gene at position 199 as a model, we successfully controlled photochemical RNA editing to effect site-directed deamination of cytidine (C) to uridine (U). Oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) containing 5'-carboxyvinyl-2'-deoxyuridine ((CV) U) were used for reversible photoligation, and single-stranded 100-nt BFP DNA and in vitro-transcribed full-length BFP mRNA were the targets. Photo-cross-linking with the responsive ODNs was performed using UV (366 nm) irradiation, which was followed by heat treatment, and the cross-linked nucleotide was cleaved through photosplitting (UV, 312 nm). The products were analyzed using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and fluorescence measurements. Western blotting and fluorescence-analysis results revealed that in vitro-translated proteins were synthesized from mRNAs after site-directed RNA editing. We detected substantial amounts of the target-base-substituted fragment using RFLP and observed highly reproducible spectra of the transition-GFP signal using fluorescence spectroscopy, which indicated protein stability. ODNc restored approximately 10% of the C-to-U transition. Thus, we successfully used non-enzymatic site-directed deamination for genetic restoration in vitro. In the near future, in vivo studies that include cultured cells and model animals will be conducted to treat genetic disorders. PMID:26031895

  20. Recombinant aequorin and green fluorescent protein as valuable tools in the study of cell signalling.

    PubMed

    Chiesa, A; Rapizzi, E; Tosello, V; Pinton, P; de Virgilio, M; Fogarty, K E; Rizzuto, R

    2001-04-01

    Luminous proteins include primary light producers, such as aequorin, and secondary photoproteins that in some organisms red-shift light emission for better penetration in space. When expressed in heterologous systems, both types of proteins may act as versatile reporters capable of monitoring phenomena as diverse as calcium homoeostasis, protein sorting, gene expression, and so on. The Ca(2+)-sensitive photoprotein aequorin was targeted to defined intracellular locations (organelles, such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, sarcoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus and nucleus, and cytoplasmic regions, such as the bulk cytosol and the subplasmalemmal rim), and was used to analyse Ca(2+) homoeostasis at the subcellular level. We will discuss this application, reviewing its advantages and disadvantages and the experimental procedure. The applications of green fluorescent protein (GFP) are even broader. Indeed, the ability to molecularly engineer and recombinantly express a strongly fluorescent probe has provided a powerful tool for investigating a wide variety of biological events in live cells (e.g. tracking of endogenous proteins, labelling of intracellular structures, analysing promoter activity etc.). More recently, the demonstration that, using appropriate mutants and/or fusion proteins, GFP fluorescence can become sensitive to physiological parameters or activities (ion concentration, protease activity, etc.) has further expanded its applications and made GFP the favourite probe of cell biologists. We will here present two applications in the field of cell signalling, i.e. the use of GFP chimaeras for studying the recruitment of protein kinase C isoforms and the activity of intracellular proteases. PMID:11256942

  1. Recombinant aequorin and green fluorescent protein as valuable tools in the study of cell signalling.

    PubMed Central

    Chiesa, A; Rapizzi, E; Tosello, V; Pinton, P; de Virgilio, M; Fogarty, K E; Rizzuto, R

    2001-01-01

    Luminous proteins include primary light producers, such as aequorin, and secondary photoproteins that in some organisms red-shift light emission for better penetration in space. When expressed in heterologous systems, both types of proteins may act as versatile reporters capable of monitoring phenomena as diverse as calcium homoeostasis, protein sorting, gene expression, and so on. The Ca(2+)-sensitive photoprotein aequorin was targeted to defined intracellular locations (organelles, such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, sarcoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus and nucleus, and cytoplasmic regions, such as the bulk cytosol and the subplasmalemmal rim), and was used to analyse Ca(2+) homoeostasis at the subcellular level. We will discuss this application, reviewing its advantages and disadvantages and the experimental procedure. The applications of green fluorescent protein (GFP) are even broader. Indeed, the ability to molecularly engineer and recombinantly express a strongly fluorescent probe has provided a powerful tool for investigating a wide variety of biological events in live cells (e.g. tracking of endogenous proteins, labelling of intracellular structures, analysing promoter activity etc.). More recently, the demonstration that, using appropriate mutants and/or fusion proteins, GFP fluorescence can become sensitive to physiological parameters or activities (ion concentration, protease activity, etc.) has further expanded its applications and made GFP the favourite probe of cell biologists. We will here present two applications in the field of cell signalling, i.e. the use of GFP chimaeras for studying the recruitment of protein kinase C isoforms and the activity of intracellular proteases. PMID:11256942

  2. An improved cyan fluorescent protein variant useful for FRET.

    PubMed

    Rizzo, Mark A; Springer, Gerald H; Granada, Butch; Piston, David W

    2004-04-01

    Many genetically encoded biosensors use Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between fluorescent proteins to report biochemical phenomena in living cells. Most commonly, the enhanced cyan fluorescent protein (ECFP) is used as the donor fluorophore, coupled with one of several yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) variants as the acceptor. ECFP is used despite several spectroscopic disadvantages, namely a low quantum yield, a low extinction coefficient and a fluorescence lifetime that is best fit by a double exponential. To improve the characteristics of ECFP for FRET measurements, we used a site-directed mutagenesis approach to overcome these disadvantages. The resulting variant, which we named Cerulean (ECFP/S72A/Y145A/H148D), has a greatly improved quantum yield, a higher extinction coefficient and a fluorescence lifetime that is best fit by a single exponential. Cerulean is 2.5-fold brighter than ECFP and replacement of ECFP with Cerulean substantially improves the signal-to-noise ratio of a FRET-based sensor for glucokinase activation. PMID:14990965

  3. Fluorescence studies of beer protein uptake by silica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apperson, Kathleen; Birch, David J. S.; Leiper, Kenneth; McKeown, Ian P.

    2001-05-01

    Fluorescence has been investigated with respect to new methods for monitoring protein uptake by silica, with particular attention being given to haze forming proteins and foam proteins present in beer. These are of particular interest to the brewing industry as an important aspect of the brewing process is the prevention of chill haze formation. This is necessary in order to maintain the clarity of the beer and to extend the shelf life. Chill haze, which is a result of the interaction of certain proteins with some polyphenols, can be prevented by the removal of one or both of these constituents.

  4. Determination of proteins by fluorescence quenching of Magdala Red

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Wen-wu; Gong, Guo-quan; Song, Yu-min

    2000-04-01

    Magdala Red (MR) binding to protein causes a decrease in the fluorescence intensity of MR at 556 nm. Based on this, a new quantitative determination method for proteins is developed. The linear range of this assay is 0.1-4.0 μg ml -1 of Bovine Serum albumin (BSA). The measurements can be made easily on a common fluorimeter. The reaction between MR and proteins is completed in 1 min, and the fluorescence intensity is stable for at least 2 h. There is little or no interference from amino acids and most metal ions. The proposed method has been applied to the determination of protein in milk powder and soybean milk powder and the results are in agreement with the results by the other methods.

  5. Two-photon directed evolution of green fluorescent proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoltzfus, Caleb R.; Barnett, Lauren M.; Drobizhev, Mikhail; Wicks, Geoffrey; Mikhaylov, Alexander; Hughes, Thomas E.; Rebane, Aleksander

    2015-07-01

    Directed evolution has been used extensively to improve the properties of a variety of fluorescent proteins (FPs). Evolutionary strategies, however, have not yet been used to improve the two-photon absorption (2PA) properties of a fluorescent protein, properties that are important for two-photon imaging in living tissues, including the brain. Here we demonstrate a technique for quantitatively screening the two-photon excited fluorescence (2PEF) efficiency and 2PA cross section of tens of thousands of mutant FPs expressed in E. coli colonies. We use this procedure to move EGFP through three rounds of two-photon directed evolution leading to new variants showing up to a 50% enhancement in peak 2PA cross section and brightness within the near-IR tissue transparency wavelength range.

  6. Two-photon directed evolution of green fluorescent proteins

    PubMed Central

    Stoltzfus, Caleb R.; Barnett, Lauren M.; Drobizhev, Mikhail; Wicks, Geoffrey; Mikhaylov, Alexander; Hughes, Thomas E.; Rebane, Aleksander

    2015-01-01

    Directed evolution has been used extensively to improve the properties of a variety of fluorescent proteins (FPs). Evolutionary strategies, however, have not yet been used to improve the two-photon absorption (2PA) properties of a fluorescent protein, properties that are important for two-photon imaging in living tissues, including the brain. Here we demonstrate a technique for quantitatively screening the two-photon excited fluorescence (2PEF) efficiency and 2PA cross section of tens of thousands of mutant FPs expressed in E. coli colonies. We use this procedure to move EGFP through three rounds of two-photon directed evolution leading to new variants showing up to a 50% enhancement in peak 2PA cross section and brightness within the near-IR tissue transparency wavelength range. PMID:26145791

  7. Broadband photon pair generation in green fluorescent proteins through spontaneous four-wave mixing

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Siyuan; Thomas, Abu; Corzo, Neil V.; Kumar, Prem; Huang, Yuping; Lee, Kim Fook

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies in quantum biology suggest that quantum mechanics help us to explore quantum processes in biological system. Here, we demonstrate generation of photon pairs through spontaneous four-wave mixing process in naturally occurring fluorescent proteins. We develop a general empirical method for analyzing the relative strength of nonlinear optical interaction processes in five different organic fluorophores. Our results indicate that the generation of photon pairs in green fluorescent proteins is subject to less background noises than in other fluorophores, leading to a coincidence-to-accidental ratio ~145. As such proteins can be genetically engineered and fused to many biological cells, our experiment enables a new platform for quantum information processing in a biological environment such as biomimetic quantum networks and quantum sensors. PMID:27076032

  8. Broadband photon pair generation in green fluorescent proteins through spontaneous four-wave mixing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Siyuan; Thomas, Abu; Corzo, Neil V.; Kumar, Prem; Huang, Yuping; Lee, Kim Fook

    2016-04-01

    Recent studies in quantum biology suggest that quantum mechanics help us to explore quantum processes in biological system. Here, we demonstrate generation of photon pairs through spontaneous four-wave mixing process in naturally occurring fluorescent proteins. We develop a general empirical method for analyzing the relative strength of nonlinear optical interaction processes in five different organic fluorophores. Our results indicate that the generation of photon pairs in green fluorescent proteins is subject to less background noises than in other fluorophores, leading to a coincidence-to-accidental ratio ~145. As such proteins can be genetically engineered and fused to many biological cells, our experiment enables a new platform for quantum information processing in a biological environment such as biomimetic quantum networks and quantum sensors.

  9. Broadband photon pair generation in green fluorescent proteins through spontaneous four-wave mixing.

    PubMed

    Shi, Siyuan; Thomas, Abu; Corzo, Neil V; Kumar, Prem; Huang, Yuping; Lee, Kim Fook

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies in quantum biology suggest that quantum mechanics help us to explore quantum processes in biological system. Here, we demonstrate generation of photon pairs through spontaneous four-wave mixing process in naturally occurring fluorescent proteins. We develop a general empirical method for analyzing the relative strength of nonlinear optical interaction processes in five different organic fluorophores. Our results indicate that the generation of photon pairs in green fluorescent proteins is subject to less background noises than in other fluorophores, leading to a coincidence-to-accidental ratio ~145. As such proteins can be genetically engineered and fused to many biological cells, our experiment enables a new platform for quantum information processing in a biological environment such as biomimetic quantum networks and quantum sensors. PMID:27076032

  10. Electrotransformation of Bacillus mojavensis with fluorescent protein markers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gram-positive endophytic bacteria are difficult to transform. To study endophytic interactions between Bacillus mojavensis and maize, a method was developed to transform this species by electroporation with three fluorescent protein expressing integrative plasmids: pSG1154, pSG1192, and pSG1193. The...

  11. Development of a Green Fluorescent Protein-Based Laboratory Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larkin, Patrick D.; Hartberg, Yasha

    2005-01-01

    A laboratory curriculum has been designed for an undergraduate biochemistry course that focuses on the investigation of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). The sequence of procedures extends from analysis of the DNA sequence through PCR amplification, recombinant plasmid DNA synthesis, bacterial transformation, expression, isolation, and…

  12. Cathodoluminescence and Electron-Induced Fluorescence Enhancement of Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein.

    PubMed

    Nagayama, Kuniaki; Onuma, Tsubasa; Ueno, Ryosuke; Tamehiro, Katsuyuki; Minoda, Hiroki

    2016-02-18

    Becaues the spatial resolution of fluorescence microscopy is not high enough to study the molecular level of relationship between the structure and function of biological specimens, correlative light and electron microscopy has been used for this purpose. Another possibility for a high-resolution light microscopy is cathodoluminescence microscopy. Here, we report a new phenomenon, the electron-induced activation of luminescence (cathodoluminescence) and electron-enhanced fluorescence for the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). This was found using our recently developed hybrid fluorescence and electron microscopy. Contrary to the past reports, which showed a degradation of organic compounds by electron irradiation, stable cathodoluminescence emitted from an organic molecule, EGFP, has been observed using the hybrid microscopy. Addition of the glycerol promoted the fluorescence enhancement of EGFP probably due to the change in the electronic state density of excitation channels from the ground to the excited state or of relaxation channels from the excited to the emission state. Stable cathodoluminescence and enhanced fluorescence of the EGFP may introduce a cathodoluminescence microscopy, which will increase the variety of the imaging to investigate the biological compounds. PMID:26849242

  13. Engineered Proteins: Redox Properties and Their Applications

    PubMed Central

    Prabhulkar, Shradha; Tian, Hui; Wang, Xiaotang; Zhu, Jun-Jie

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Oxidoreductases and metalloproteins, representing more than one third of all known proteins, serve as significant catalysts for numerous biological processes that involve electron transfers such as photosynthesis, respiration, metabolism, and molecular signaling. The functional properties of the oxidoreductases/metalloproteins are determined by the nature of their redox centers. Protein engineering is a powerful approach that is used to incorporate biological and abiological redox cofactors as well as novel enzymes and redox proteins with predictable structures and desirable functions for important biological and chemical applications. The methods of protein engineering, mainly rational design, directed evolution, protein surface modifications, and domain shuffling, have allowed the creation and study of a number of redox proteins. This review presents a selection of engineered redox proteins achieved through these methods, resulting in a manipulation in redox potentials, an increase in electron-transfer efficiency, and an expansion of native proteins by de novo design. Such engineered/modified redox proteins with desired properties have led to a broad spectrum of practical applications, ranging from biosensors, biofuel cells, to pharmaceuticals and hybrid catalysis. Glucose biosensors are one of the most successful products in enzyme electrochemistry, with reconstituted glucose oxidase achieving effective electrical communication with the sensor electrode; direct electron-transfer-type biofuel cells are developed to avoid thermodynamic loss and mediator leakage; and fusion proteins of P450s and redox partners make the biocatalytic generation of drug metabolites possible. In summary, this review includes the properties and applications of the engineered redox proteins as well as their significance and great potential in the exploration of bioelectrochemical sensing devices. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 17, 1796–1822. PMID:22435347

  14. Natural and Genetically Engineered Proteins for Tissue Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Sílvia; Leonor, Isabel B.; Mano, João F.; Reis, Rui L.

    2011-01-01

    To overcome the limitations of traditionally used autografts, allografts and, to a lesser extent, synthetic materials, there is the need to develop a new generation of scaffolds with adequate mechanical and structural support, control of cell attachment, migration, proliferation and differentiation and with bio-resorbable features. This suite of properties would allow the body to heal itself at the same rate as implant degradation. Genetic engineering offers a route to this level of control of biomaterial systems. The possibility of expressing biological components in nature and to modify or bioengineer them further, offers a path towards multifunctional biomaterial systems. This includes opportunities to generate new protein sequences, new self-assembling peptides or fusions of different bioactive domains or protein motifs. New protein sequences with tunable properties can be generated that can be used as new biomaterials. In this review we address some of the most frequently used proteins for tissue engineering and biomedical applications and describe the techniques most commonly used to functionalize protein-based biomaterials by combining them with bioactive molecules to enhance biological performance. We also highlight the use of genetic engineering, for protein heterologous expression and the synthesis of new protein-based biopolymers, focusing the advantages of these functionalized biopolymers when compared with their counterparts extracted directly from nature and modified by techniques such as physical adsorption or chemical modification. PMID:22058578

  15. Engineering nanoparticle-protein associations for protein crystal nucleation and nanoparticle arrangement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benoit, Denise N.

    Engineering the nanoparticle - protein association offers a new way to form protein crystals as well as new approaches for arrangement of nanoparticles. Central to this control is the nanoparticle surface. By conjugating polymers on the surface with controlled molecular weights many properties of the nanoparticle can be changed including its size, stability in buffers and the association of proteins with its surface. Large molecular weight poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) coatings allow for weak associations between proteins and nanoparticles. These interactions can lead to changes in how proteins crystallize. In particular, they decrease the time to nucleation and expand the range of conditions over which protein crystals form. Interestingly, when PEG chain lengths are too short then protein association is minimized and these effects are not observed. One important feature of protein crystals nucleated with nanoparticles is that the nanoparticles are incorporated into the crystals. What results are nanoparticles placed at well-defined distances in composite protein-nanoparticle crystals. Crystals on the size scale of 10 - 100 micrometers exhibit optical absorbance, fluorescence and super paramagnetic behavior derivative from the incorporated nanomaterials. The arrangement of nanoparticles into three dimensional arrays also gives rise to new and interesting physical and chemical properties, such as fluorescence enhancement and varied magnetic response. In addition, anisotropic nanomaterials aligned throughout the composite crystal have polarization dependent optical properties.

  16. Green fluorescent protein functions as a reporter for protein localization in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Feilmeier, B J; Iseminger, G; Schroeder, D; Webber, H; Phillips, G J

    2000-07-01

    The use of green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a reporter for protein localization in Escherichia coli was explored by creating gene fusions between malE (encoding maltose-binding protein [MBP]) and a variant of gfp optimized for fluorescence in bacteria (GFPuv). These constructs encode hybrid proteins composed of GFP fused to the carboxy-terminal end of MBP. Fluorescence was not detected when the hybrid protein was synthesized with the MBP signal sequence. In contrast, when the MBP signal sequence was deleted, fluorescence was observed. Cell fractionation studies showed that the fluorescent MBP-GFP hybrid protein was localized in the cytoplasm, whereas the nonfluorescent version was localized to the periplasmic space. Smaller MBP-GFP hybrid proteins, however, exhibited abnormal fractionation. Expression of the gene fusions in different sec mutants, as well as signal sequence processing assays, confirmed that the periplasmically localized hybrid proteins were exported by the sec-dependent pathway. The distinction between fluorescent and nonfluorescent colonies was exploited as a scorable phenotype to isolate malE signal sequence mutations. While expression of hybrid proteins comprised of full-length MBP did not result in overproduction lethality characteristic of some exported beta-galactosidase hybrid proteins, synthesis of shorter, exported hybrid proteins was toxic to the cells. Purification of MBP-GFP hybrid protein from the different cellular compartments indicated that GFP is improperly folded when localized outside of the cytoplasm. These results suggest that GFP could serve as a useful reporter for genetic analysis of bacterial protein export and of protein folding. PMID:10869087

  17. Secretion of green fluorescent protein from recombinant baculovirus-infected insect cells.

    PubMed

    Laukkanen, M L; Oker-Blom, C; Keinänen, K

    1996-09-24

    Trichoplusia ni (High Five) and Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf21) cells were engineered for expression of epitope (Flag)-tagged signal peptide-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions to examine the suitability of GFP as a secretory marker. The recombinant baculovirus-infected cells became fluorescent, and the High Five cells but not Sf21 cells secreted GFP in the culture medium as detected by the presence in the culture supernatant of a Flag-immunoreactive 30-kDa species and the characteristic 510-nm GFP fluorescence peak. Signal peptides derived from ecdysteroid UDP-glucosyltransferase of Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus and from rat brain glutamate receptor were both able to promote secretion of GFP. GFP may thus be used as a research tool in the study of the secretory process in insect cells both in cell biology and in biotechnological applications. PMID:8831686

  18. Protein immobilization and fluorescence quenching on polydopamine thin films.

    PubMed

    Chen, Daqun; Zhao, Lei; Hu, Weihua

    2016-09-01

    Mussel inspired polydopamine (PDA) film has attracted great interest as a versatile functional coating for biomolecule immobilization in various bio-related devices. However, the details regarding the interaction between a protein and PDA film remain unclear. Particularly, there is very limited knowledge regarding the protein immobilization on PDA film, even though it is of essential importance in various fields. The situation is even more complicated if considering the fact that quite a number of approaches (e.g., different oxidizing reagent, buffer pH, grown time, grown media, etc.) have been developed to grow PDA films. In this work, protein attachment on PDA film was systematically investigated by using the real-time and label-free surface plasmon resonance (SPR) technique. The kinetics of protein-PDA interaction was explored and the influence of buffer pH and deposition media on the protein attachment was studied. Fluorescent protein microarray was further printed on PDA-coated glass slides for quantitative investigations and together with SPR data, the interesting fluorescence quenching phenomenon of PDA film was revealed. This work may deepen our understanding on the PDA-protein interaction and offer a valuable guide for efficient protein attachment on PDA film in various bio-related applications. PMID:27254254

  19. A model for multiexponential tryptophan fluorescence intensity decay in proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Bajzer, Z; Prendergast, F G

    1993-01-01

    Tryptophan fluorescence intensity decay in proteins is modeled by multiexponential functions characterized by lifetimes and preexponential factors. Commonly, multiple conformations of the protein are invoked to explain the recovery of two or more lifetimes from the experimental data. However, in many proteins the structure seems to preclude the possibility of multiple conformers sufficiently different from one another to justify such an inference. We present here another plausible multiexponential model based on the assumption that an energetically excited donor surrounded by N acceptor molecules decays by specific radiative and radiationless relaxation processes, and by transferring its energy to acceptors present in or close to the protein matrix. If interactions between the acceptors themselves and back energy transfer are neglected, we show that the intensity decay function contain 2N exponential components characterized by the unperturbed donor lifetime, by energy transfer rates and a probability of occurrence for the corresponding process. We applied this model to the fluorescence decay of holo- and apoazurin, ribonuclease T1, and the reduced single tryptophan mutant (W28F) of thioredoxin. Use of a multiexponential model for the analysis of the fluorescence intensity decay can therefore be justified, without invoking multiple protein conformations. Images FIGURE 1 PMID:8312471

  20. Natural Photoreceptors as a Source of Fluorescent Proteins, Biosensors, and Optogenetic Tools

    PubMed Central

    Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Shemetov, Anton A.; Kaberniuk, Andrii A.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2015-01-01

    Genetically encoded optical tools have revolutionized modern biology by allowing detection and control of biological processes with exceptional spatiotemporal precision and sensitivity. Natural photoreceptors provide researchers with a vast source of molecular templates for engineering of fluorescent proteins, biosensors, and optogenetic tools. Here, we give a brief overview of natural photoreceptors and their mechanisms of action. We then discuss fluorescent proteins and biosensors developed from light-oxygen-voltage-sensing (LOV) domains and phytochromes, as well as their properties and applications. These fluorescent tools possess unique characteristics not achievable with green fluorescent protein–like probes, including near-infrared fluorescence, independence of oxygen, small size, and photo-sensitizer activity. We next provide an overview of available optogenetic tools of various origins, such as LOV and BLUF (blue-light-utilizing flavin adenine dinucleotide) domains, cryptochromes, and phytochromes, enabling control of versatile cellular processes. We analyze the principles of their function and practical requirements for use. We focus mainly on optical tools with demonstrated use beyond bacteria, with a specific emphasis on their applications in mammalian cells. PMID:25706899

  1. Analysis of Fluorescent Proteins with a Nanoparticle Probe

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez-Lima, Francisco A.; Eller, Michael J.; DeBord, J. Daniel; Levy, Michaella J.; Verkhoturov, Stanislav V.; Della-Negra, Serge; Schweikert, Emile A.

    2012-01-01

    This letter presents the first application of high energy, single nanoparticle probes (e.g., 520 keV Au400 2nm NP) in the characterization of surfaces containing fluorescent proteins (e.g., GFP variants) by their co-emitted photon, electron and secondary ion signals. NP induced protein luminescence increases with the NP incident energy, is originated by the NP impact and is transferred to the protein fluorophor via electronic energy transfer. Multi-electron emission is observed per single NP impacts and their distributions are specific to the target morphology and composition. Fragment ions of protein sub-units consisting of 2–7 amino acid peptides are observed under individual NP impacts that can be correlated to the random protein orientation relative to the impact site (e.g., outer layer or “skin” of the protein). PMID:22308203

  2. Recombinant protein scaffolds for tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Werkmeister, Jerome A; Ramshaw, John A M

    2012-02-01

    New biological materials for tissue engineering are now being developed using common genetic engineering capabilities to clone and express a variety of genetic elements that allow cost-effective purification and scaffold fabrication from these recombinant proteins, peptides or from chimeric combinations of these. The field is limitless as long as the gene sequences are known. The utility is dependent on the ease, product yield and adaptability of these protein products to the biomedical field. The development of recombinant proteins as scaffolds, while still an emerging technology with respect to commercial products, is scientifically superior to current use of natural materials or synthetic polymer scaffolds, in terms of designing specific structures with desired degrees of biological complexities and motifs. In the field of tissue engineering, next generation scaffolds will be the key to directing appropriate tissue regeneration. The initial period of biodegradable synthetic scaffolds that provided shape and mechanical integrity, but no biological information, is phasing out. The era of protein scaffolds offers distinct advantages, particularly with the combination of powerful tools of molecular biology. These include, for example, the production of human proteins of uniform quality that are free of infectious agents and the ability to make suitable quantities of proteins that are found in low quantity or are hard to isolate from tissue. For the particular needs of tissue engineering scaffolds, fibrous proteins like collagens, elastin, silks and combinations of these offer further advantages of natural well-defined structural scaffolds as well as endless possibilities of controlling functionality by genetic manipulation. PMID:22262725

  3. Local fitness landscape of the green fluorescent protein.

    PubMed

    Sarkisyan, Karen S; Bolotin, Dmitry A; Meer, Margarita V; Usmanova, Dinara R; Mishin, Alexander S; Sharonov, George V; Ivankov, Dmitry N; Bozhanova, Nina G; Baranov, Mikhail S; Soylemez, Onuralp; Bogatyreva, Natalya S; Vlasov, Peter K; Egorov, Evgeny S; Logacheva, Maria D; Kondrashov, Alexey S; Chudakov, Dmitry M; Putintseva, Ekaterina V; Mamedov, Ilgar Z; Tawfik, Dan S; Lukyanov, Konstantin A; Kondrashov, Fyodor A

    2016-05-19

    Fitness landscapes depict how genotypes manifest at the phenotypic level and form the basis of our understanding of many areas of biology, yet their properties remain elusive. Previous studies have analysed specific genes, often using their function as a proxy for fitness, experimentally assessing the effect on function of single mutations and their combinations in a specific sequence or in different sequences. However, systematic high-throughput studies of the local fitness landscape of an entire protein have not yet been reported. Here we visualize an extensive region of the local fitness landscape of the green fluorescent protein from Aequorea victoria (avGFP) by measuring the native function (fluorescence) of tens of thousands of derivative genotypes of avGFP. We show that the fitness landscape of avGFP is narrow, with 3/4 of the derivatives with a single mutation showing reduced fluorescence and half of the derivatives with four mutations being completely non-fluorescent. The narrowness is enhanced by epistasis, which was detected in up to 30% of genotypes with multiple mutations and mostly occurred through the cumulative effect of slightly deleterious mutations causing a threshold-like decrease in protein stability and a concomitant loss of fluorescence. A model of orthologous sequence divergence spanning hundreds of millions of years predicted the extent of epistasis in our data, indicating congruence between the fitness landscape properties at the local and global scales. The characterization of the local fitness landscape of avGFP has important implications for several fields including molecular evolution, population genetics and protein design. PMID:27193686

  4. Fluorescently labeled collagen binding proteins allow specific visualization of collagen in tissues and live cell culture.

    PubMed

    Krahn, Katy Nash; Bouten, Carlijn V C; van Tuijl, Sjoerd; van Zandvoort, Marc A M J; Merkx, Maarten

    2006-03-15

    Visualization of the formation and orientation of collagen fibers in tissue engineering experiments is crucial for understanding the factors that determine the mechanical properties of tissues. In this study, collagen-specific fluorescent probes were developed using a new approach that takes advantage of the inherent specificity of collagen binding protein domains present in bacterial adhesion proteins (CNA35) and integrins (GST-alpha1I). Both collagen binding domains were obtained as fusion proteins from an Escherichia coli expression system and fluorescently labeled using either amine-reactive succinimide (CNA35) or cysteine-reactive maleimide (GST-alpha1I) dyes. Solid-phase binding assays showed that both protein-based probes are much more specific than dichlorotriazinyl aminofluorescein (DTAF), a fluorescent dye that is currently used to track collagen formation in tissue engineering experiments. The CNA35 probe showed a higher affinity for human collagen type I than did the GST-alpha1I probe (apparent K(d) values of 0.5 and 50 microM, respectively) and showed very little cross-reactivity with noncollagenous extracellular matrix proteins. The CNA35 probe was also superior to both GST-alpha1I and DTAF in visualizing the formation of collagen fibers around live human venous saphena cells. Immunohistological experiments on rat tissue showed colocalization of the CNA35 probe with collagen type I and type III antibodies. The fluorescent probes described here have important advantages over existing methods for visualization of collagen, in particular for monitoring the formation of collagen in live tissue cultures over prolonged time periods. PMID:16476406

  5. Thrombin detection in murine plasma using engineered fluorescence resonance energy transfer aptadimers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trapaidze, Ana; Brut, Marie; Mazères, Serge; Estève, Daniel; Gué, Anne-Marie; Bancaud, Aurélien

    2015-12-01

    Biodetection strategies, in which two sides of one target protein are targeted simultaneously, have been shown to increase specificity, selectivity, and affinity, and it has been suggested that they constitute excellent candidates for protein sensing in complex media. In this study we propose a method to engineer the sequence of a DNA construct dedicated to reversible thrombin detection. This construct, called Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) aptadimer, is assembled with two aptamers, which target different epitopes of thrombin, interconnected with a DNA linker that contains a FRET couple and a reversible double helix stem. In the absence of target, the stem is stable maintaining a FRET couple in close proximity, and fluorescence is unquenched upon thrombin addition due to the dehybridization of the stem. We define design rules for the conception of FRET aptadimers, and develop a software to optimize their functionality. One engineered FRET aptadimer sequence is subsequently characterized experimentally by temperature scanning fluorimetry, demonstrating the relevance of our technology for thrombin sensing in bulk and diluted murine plasma.

  6. Single molecule spectroscopic characterization of a far-red fluorescent protein (HcRed) from the Anthozoa coral Heteractis crispa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotlet, Mircea; Habuchi, Satoshi; Whitier, Jennifer E.; Werner, James H.; De Schryver, Frans C.; Hofkens, Johan; Goodwin, Peter M.

    2006-02-01

    We report on the photophysical properties of a far-red intrinsic fluorescent protein by means of single molecule and ensemble spectroscopic methods. The green fluorescent protein (GFP) from Aequorea victoria is a popular fluorescent marker with genetically encoded fluorescence and which can be fused to any biological structure without affecting its function. GFP and its variants provide emission colors from blue to yellowish green. Red intrinsic fluorescent proteins from Anthozoa species represent a recent addition to the emission color palette provided by GFPs. Red intrinsic fluorescent markers are on high demand in protein-protein interaction studies based on fluorescence-resonance energy transfer or in multicolor tracking studies or in cellular investigations where autofluorescence possesses a problem. Here we address the photophysical properties of a far-red fluorescent protein (HcRed), a mutant engineered from a chromoprotein cloned from the sea anemone Heteractis crispa, by using a combination of ensemble and single molecule spectroscopic methods. We show evidence for the presence of HcRed protein as an oligomer and for incomplete maturation of its chromophore. Incomplete maturation results in the presence of an immature (yellow) species absorbing/fluorescing at 490/530-nm. This yellow chromophore is involved in a fast resonance-energy transfer with the mature (purple) chromophore. The mature chromophore of HcRed is found to adopt two conformations, a Transoriented form absorbing and 565-nm and non-fluorescent in solution and a Cis-oriented form absorbing at 590-nm and emitting at 645-nm. These two forms co-exist in solution in thermal equilibrium. Excitation-power dependence fluorescence correlation spectroscopy of HcRed shows evidence for singlet-triplet transitions in the microseconds time scale and for cis-trans isomerization occurring in a time scale of tens of microseconds. Single molecule fluorescence data recorded from immobilized HcRed proteins, all

  7. Multi-color imaging of the bacterial nucleoid and division proteins with blue, orange, and near-infrared fluorescent proteins

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Fabai; Van Rijn, Erwin; Van Schie, Bas G. C.; Dekker, Cees

    2015-01-01

    Studies of the spatiotemporal protein dynamics within live bacterial cells impose a strong demand for multi-color imaging. Despite the increasingly large collection of fluorescent protein (FP) variants engineered to date, only a few of these were successfully applied in bacteria. Here, we explore the performance of recently engineered variants with the blue (TagBFP), orange (TagRFP-T, mKO2), and far-red (mKate2) spectral colors by tagging HU, LacI, MinD, and FtsZ for visualizing the nucleoid and the cell division process. We find that, these FPs outperformed previous versions in terms of brightness and photostability at their respective spectral range, both when expressed as cytosolic label and when fused to native proteins. As this indicates that their folding is sufficiently fast, these proteins thus successfully expand the applicable spectra for multi-color imaging in bacteria. A near-infrared protein (eqFP670) is found to be the most red-shifted protein applicable to bacteria so far, with brightness and photostability that are advantageous for cell-body imaging, such as in microfluidic devices. Despite the multiple advantages, we also report the alarming observation that TagBFP directly interacts with TagRFP-T, causing interference of localization patterns between their fusion proteins. Our application of diverse FPs for endogenous tagging provides guidelines for future engineering of fluorescent fusions in bacteria, specifically: (1) The performance of newly developed FPs should be quantified in vivo for their introduction into bacteria; (2) spectral crosstalk and inter-variant interactions between FPs should be carefully examined for multi-color imaging; and (3) successful genomic fusion to the 5′-end of a gene strongly depends on the translational read-through of the inserted coding sequence. PMID:26136737

  8. Ultrafast fluorescence upconversion technique and its applications to proteins.

    PubMed

    Chosrowjan, Haik; Taniguchi, Seiji; Tanaka, Fumio

    2015-08-01

    The basic principles and main characteristics of the ultrafast time-resolved fluorescence upconversion technique (conventional and space-resolved), including requirements for nonlinear crystals, mixing spectral bandwidth, acceptance angle, etc., are presented. Applications to flavoproteins [wild-type (WT) FMN-binding protein and its W32Y, W32A, E13R, E13K, E13Q and E13T mutants] and photoresponsive proteins [WT photoactive yellow protein and its R52Q mutant in solution and as single crystals] are demonstrated. For flavoproteins, investigations elucidating the effects of ionic charges on ultrafast electron transfer (ET) dynamics are summarized. It is shown that replacement of the ionic amino acid Glu13 and the resulting modification of the electrostatic charge distribution in the protein chromphore-binding pocket substantially alters the ultrafast fluorescence quenching dynamics and ET rate in FMN-binding protein. It is concluded that, together with donor-acceptor distances, electrostatic interactions between ionic photoproducts and other ionic groups in the proteins are important factors influencing the ET rates. In WT photoactive yellow protein and the R52Q mutant, ultrafast photoisomerization dynamics of the chromophore (deprotonated trans-p-coumaric acid) in liquid and crystal phases are investigated. It is shown that the primary dynamics in solution and single-crystal phases are quite similar; hence, the photocycle dynamics and structural differences observed at longer time scales arise mostly from the structural restraints imposed by the crystal lattice rigidity versus the flexibility in solution. PMID:25532707

  9. Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Highly Charged Green Fluorescent Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Lau, E Y; Phillips, J L; Colvin, M E

    2009-03-26

    A recent experimental study showed that green fluorescent protein (GFP) that has been mutated to have ultra-high positive or negative net charges, retain their native structure and fluorescent properties while gaining resistance to aggregation under denaturing conditions. These proteins also provide an ideal test case for studying the effects of surface charge on protein structure and dynamics. They have performed classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on the near-neutral wildtype GFP and mutants with net charges of -29 and +35. They analyzed the resulting trajectories to quantify differences in structure and dynamics between the three GFPs. This analyses shows that all three proteins are stable over the MD trajectory, with the near-neutral wild type GFP exhibiting somewhat more flexibility than the positive or negative GFP mutants, as measured by the order parameter and changes in phi-psi angles. There are more dramatic differences in the properties of the water and counter ions surrounding the proteins. The water diffusion constant near the protein surface is closer to the value for bulk water in the positively charged GFP than in the other two proteins. Additionally, the positively charged GFP shows a much greater clustering of the counter ions (CL-) near its surface than corresponding counter ions (Na+) near the negatively charged mutant.

  10. Watching Single Proteins Using Engineered Nanopores

    PubMed Central

    Movileanu, Liviu

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies in the area of single-molecule detection of proteins with nanopores show a great promise in fundamental science, bionanotechnology and proteomics. In this mini-review, I discuss a comprehensive array of examinations of protein detection and characterization using protein and solid-state nanopores. These investigations demonstrate the power of the single-molecule nanopore measurements to reveal a broad range of functional, structural, biochemical and biophysical features of proteins, such as their backbone flexibility, enzymatic activity, binding affinity as well as their concentration, size and folding state. Engineered nanopores in organic materials and in inorganic membranes coupled with surface modification and protein engineering might provide a new generation of sensing devices for molecular biomedical diagnosis. PMID:24370252

  11. Photoswitchable red fluorescent protein with a large Stokes shift

    PubMed Central

    Piatkevich, Kiryl D.; English, Brian P.; Malashkevich, Vladimir N.; Xiao, Hui; Almo, Steven C.; Singer, Robert H.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Subclass of fluorescent proteins, large Stokes shift fluorescent proteins, is characterized by their increased spread between the excitation and emission maxima. Here we report a photoswitchable variant of a red fluorescent protein with a large Stokes shift, PSLSSmKate, which initially exhibits excitation/emission at 445/622 nm, but irradiation with violet light photoswitches PSLSSmKate into a common red form with excitation/emission at 573/621 nm. We characterize spectral, photophysical and biochemical properties of PSLSSmKate in vitro and in mammalian cells, and determine its crystal structure in the large Stokes shift form. Mass-spectrometry, mutagenesis and spectroscopic analysis of PSLSSmKate allow us to propose molecular mechanisms for the large Stokes shift, pH dependence and light-induced chromophore transformation. We demonstrate applicability of PSLSSmKate to superresolution PALM microscopy and protein dynamics in live cells. Given its promising properties, we expect that PSLSSmKate-like phenotype will be further used for photoactivatable imaging and tracking multiple populations of intracellular objects. PMID:25242289

  12. Using Fluorescent Protein Fusions to Study Protein Subcellular Localization and Dynamics in Plant Cells.

    PubMed

    Cui, Yong; Gao, Caiji; Zhao, Qiong; Jiang, Liwen

    2016-01-01

    Studies of protein subcellular localization and dynamics are helpful in understanding the cellular functions of proteins in an organism. In the past decade, the use of green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a fusion tag has dramatically extended our knowledge in this field. Transient expression and stable transformation of GFP-tagged proteins have been wildly used to study protein localization in vivo in different systems. Although GFP-based tags provide a fast and convenient way to characterize protein properties in living cells, several reports have demonstrated that GFP fusions might not accurately reflect the localization of the native protein as GFP tags may alter the protein properties. To facilitate proper usage of GFP tags in plant cell biology study, we describe detailed protocols to identify possible inhibitory effects of fluorescent tags on protein subcellular localization and to determine if a fluorescently tagged protein is localized to the correct subcellular compartment. Using Arabidopsis Endomembrane protein 12 (EMP12) as an example, we first show the possible inhibitory effect of GFP tags on proper protein localization and then describe the immunofluorescence labeling method to verify the correct localization of GFP fusion proteins. Next, a method is presented using the ImageJ program with the Pearson-Spearman correlation (PSC) colocalization plug-in for statistical quantification of colocalization ratios of two fluorophores. Finally we provide a detailed method for protein dynamics studies using spinning disk confocal microscopy in Arabidopsis cells. PMID:27515077

  13. Directed evolution of a monomeric, bright and photostable version of Clavularia cyan fluorescent protein: structural characterization and applications in fluorescence imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Al, Hui-wang; Henderson, J. Nathan; Remington, S. James; Campbell, Robert E.

    2008-05-07

    The arsenal of engineered variants of the GFP [green FP (fluorescent protein)] from Aequorea jellyfish provides researchers with a powerful set of tools for use in biochemical and cell biology research. The recent discovery of diverse FPs in Anthozoa coral species has provided protein engineers with an abundance of alternative progenitor FPs from which improved variants that complement or supersede existing Aequorea GFP variants could be derived. Here, we report the engineering of the first monomeric version of the tetrameric CFP (cyan FP) cFP484 from Clavularia coral. Starting from a designed synthetic gene library with mammalian codon preferences, we identified dimeric cFP484 variants with fluorescent brightness significantly greater than the wild-type protein. Following incorporation of dimer-breaking mutations and extensive directed evolution with selection for blue-shifted emission, high fluorescent brightness and photostability, we arrived at an optimized variant that we have named mTFP1 [monomeric TFP1 (teal FP 1)]. The new mTFP1 is one of the brightest and most photostable FPs reported to date. In addition, the fluorescence is insensitive to physiologically relevant pH changes and the fluorescence lifetime decay is best fitted as a single exponential. The 1.19 {angstrom} crystal structure (1 {angstrom}=0.1 nm) of mTFP1 confirms the monomeric structure and reveals an unusually distorted chromophore conformation. As we experimentally demonstrate, the high quantum yield of mTFP1 (0.85) makes it particularly suitable as a replacement for ECFP (enhanced CFP) or Cerulean as a FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer) donor to either a yellow or orange FP acceptor.

  14. Computational Design of the β-Sheet Surface of a Red Fluorescent Protein Allows Control of Protein Oligomerization

    PubMed Central

    Wannier, Timothy M.; Moore, Matthew M.; Mou, Yun; Mayo, Stephen L.

    2015-01-01

    Computational design has been used with mixed success for the design of protein surfaces, with directed evolution heretofore providing better practical solutions than explicit design. Directed evolution, however, requires a tractable high-throughput screen because the random nature of mutation does not enrich for desired traits. Here we demonstrate the successful design of the β-sheet surface of a red fluorescent protein (RFP), enabling control over its oligomerization. To isolate the problem of surface design, we created a hybrid RFP from DsRed and mCherry with a stabilized protein core that allows for monomerization without loss of fluorescence. We designed an explicit library for which 93 of 96 (97%) of the protein variants are soluble, stably fluorescent, and monomeric. RFPs are heavily used in biology, but are natively tetrameric, and creating RFP monomers has proven extremely difficult. We show that surface design and core engineering are separate problems in RFP development and that the next generation of RFP markers will depend on improved methods for core design. PMID:26075618

  15. Bright monomeric near-infrared fluorescent proteins as tags and biosensors for multiscale imaging.

    PubMed

    Shcherbakova, Daria M; Baloban, Mikhail; Emelyanov, Alexander V; Brenowitz, Michael; Guo, Peng; Verkhusha, Vladislav V

    2016-01-01

    Monomeric near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent proteins (FPs) are in high demand as protein tags and components of biosensors for deep-tissue imaging and multicolour microscopy. We report three bright and spectrally distinct monomeric NIR FPs, termed miRFPs, engineered from bacterial phytochrome, which can be used as easily as GFP-like FPs. miRFPs are 2-5-fold brighter in mammalian cells than other monomeric NIR FPs and perform well in protein fusions, allowing multicolour structured illumination microscopy. miRFPs enable development of several types of NIR biosensors, such as for protein-protein interactions, RNA detection, signalling cascades and cell fate. We demonstrate this by engineering the monomeric fluorescence complementation reporters, the IκBα reporter for NF-κB pathway and the cell cycle biosensor for detection of proliferation status of cells in culture and in animals. miRFPs allow non-invasive visualization and detection of biological processes at different scales, from super-resolution microscopy to in vivo imaging, using the same probes. PMID:27539380

  16. Portraying G Protein-Coupled Receptors with Fluorescent Ligands

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The thermodynamics of ligand–receptor interactions at the surface of living cells represents a fundamental aspect of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) biology; thus, its detailed elucidation constitutes a challenge for modern pharmacology. Interestingly, fluorescent ligands have been developed for a variety of GPCRs in order to monitor ligand–receptor binding in living cells. Accordingly, new methodological strategies derived from noninvasive fluorescence-based approaches, especially fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), have been successfully developed to characterize ligand–receptor interactions. Importantly, these technologies are supplanting more hazardous and expensive radioactive binding assays. In addition, FRET-based tools have also become extremely powerful approaches for visualizing receptor–receptor interactions (i.e., GPCR oligomerization) in living cells. Thus, by means of the synthesis of compatible fluorescent ligands these novel techniques can be implemented to demonstrate the existence of GPCR oligomerization not only in heterologous systems but also in native tissues. Finally, there is no doubt that these methodologies would also be relevant in drug discovery in order to develop new high-throughput screening approaches or to identify new therapeutic targets. Overall, herein, we provide a thorough assessment of all technical and biological aspects, including strengths and weaknesses, of these fluorescence-based methodologies when applied to the study of GPCR biology at the plasma membrane of living cells. PMID:25010291

  17. The Cyan Fluorescent Protein (CFP) Transgenic Mouse as a Model for Imaging Pancreatic Exocrine Cells

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Hop S Tran; Kimura, Hiroaki; Kaushal, Sharmeela; Snyder, Cynthia S; Reynoso, Jose; Hoffman, Robert M; Bouvet, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Context The use of fluorescent proteins for in vivo imaging has opened many new areas of research. Among the important advances in the field have been the development of transgenic mice expressing various fluorescent proteins. Objective To report whole-body and organ-specific fluorescence imaging to characterize the transgenic cyan fluorescent protein mouse. Design Mice were imaged using two devices. Brightfield images were obtained with the OV100 Small Animal Imaging System (Olympus Corp., Tokyo, Japan). Fluorescence imaging was performed under the cyan fluorescent protein filter using the iBox Small Animal Imaging System (UVP, Upland, CA, USA). Intervention All animals were sacrificed immediately before imaging. They were imaged before and throughout multiple steps of a complete necropsy. Harvested organs were also imaged with both devices. Selected organs were then frozen and processed for histology, fluorescence microscopy, and H&E staining. Fluorescence microscopy was performed with an Olympus IMT-2 inverted fluorescence microscope. Main outcome measure Determination of fluorescence intensity of different organs. Results Surprisingly, we found that there is differential enhancement of fluorescence among organs; most notably, the pancreas stands out from the rest of the gastrointestinal tract, displaying the strongest fluorescence of all organs in the mouse. Fluorescence microscopy demonstrated that the cyan fluorescent protein fluorescence resided in the acinar cells of the pancreas and not the islet cells. Conclusions The cyan fluorescent protein mouse should lead to a deeper understanding of pancreatic function and pathology, including cancer. PMID:19287108

  18. Rotational order–disorder structure of fluorescent protein FP480

    SciTech Connect

    Pletnev, Sergei; Morozova, Kateryna S.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.; Dauter, Zbigniew

    2009-09-01

    An analysis of the rotational order–disorder structure of fluorescent protein FP480 is presented. In the last decade, advances in instrumentation and software development have made crystallography a powerful tool in structural biology. Using this method, structural information can now be acquired from pathological crystals that would have been abandoned in earlier times. In this paper, the order–disorder (OD) structure of fluorescent protein FP480 is discussed. The structure is composed of tetramers with 222 symmetry incorporated into the lattice in two different ways, namely rotated 90° with respect to each other around the crystal c axis, with tetramer axes coincident with crystallographic twofold axes. The random distribution of alternatively oriented tetramers in the crystal creates a rotational OD structure with statistically averaged I422 symmetry, although the presence of very weak and diffuse additional reflections suggests that the randomness is only approximate.

  19. The fluorescent protein palette: tools for cellular imaging†

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Michael W.

    2010-01-01

    This critical review provides an overview of the continually expanding family of fluorescent proteins (FPs) that have become essential tools for studies of cell biology and physiology. Here, we describe the characteristics of the genetically encoded fluorescent markers that now span the visible spectrum from deep blue to deep red. We identify some of the novel FPs that have unusual characteristics that make them useful reporters of the dynamic behaviors of proteins inside cells, and describe how many different optical methods can be combined with the FPs to provide quantitative measurements in living systems. “If wood is rubbed with the Pulmo marinus, it will have all the appearance of being on fire; so much so, indeed, that a walking-stick, thus treated, will light the way like a torch” (translation of Pliny the Elder from John Bostock, 1855). PMID:19771335

  20. Aptamer carbon nanodot sandwich used for fluorescent detection of protein.

    PubMed

    Xu, Bailu; Zhao, Chuanqi; Wei, Weili; Ren, Jinsong; Miyoshi, Daisuke; Sugimoto, Naoki; Qu, Xiaogang

    2012-12-01

    Carbon nanodots (C-Dots) have attracted growing interest in recent years due to their low cost, ready scalability, excellent chemical stability, biocompatibility, colloidal stability, and resilience of photoluminescence. They have been employed as novel, ideal fluorescent probes for bio-imaging and smart sensing. In addition, taking advantage of their low-cytotoxicity, C-Dots have potential applications in biochemical and cell biological fields. Herein, we present the first assay with aptamer-functionalized C-Dots as a sensory platform for protein detection. The presence of thrombin can induce the aptamer-modified fluorescent C-Dots to form a sandwich structure with aptamer-functionalized silica nanoparticles through specific protein/aptamer interaction. The assay shows high specificity toward thrombin. A detection limit of 1 nM is obtained, which is significantly improved as compared to that of many previously reported fluorescence-based thrombin detection assays. Using other modified aptamers and antibodies instead of thrombin binding aptamers, this strategy may offer a suitable approach for detection of other proteins in biological, pharmaceutical and nano-mechanical applications. PMID:23050264

  1. Multi-color femtosecond source for simultaneous excitation of multiple fluorescent proteins in two-photon fluorescence microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ke; Liu, Tzu-Ming; Wu, Juwell; Horton, Nicholas G.; Lin, Charles P.; Xu, Chris

    2013-02-01

    Simultaneous imaging of cells expressing multiple fluorescent proteins (FPs) is of particular interest in applications such as mapping neural circuits, tracking multiple immune cell populations, etc. To visualize both in vivo and ex vivo tissue morphology and physiology at a cellular level deep within scattering tissues, two-photon fluorescence microscopy (2PM) is a powerful tool that has found wide applications. However, simultaneous imaging of multiple FPs with 2PM is greatly hampered by the lack of proper ultrafast lasers offering multi-color femtosecond pulses, each targeting the two-photon absorption peak of a different FP. Here we demonstrate simultaneous two-photon fluorescence excitation of RFP, YFP, and CFP in human melanoma cells engineered to express a "rainbow" pallet of colors, using a novel fiber-based source with energetic, three-color femtosecond pulses. The three-color pulses, centered at 775 nm, 864 nm and 950 nm, are obtained through second harmonic generation of the 1550 nm pump laser and SHG of the solitons at 1728 nm and 1900 nm generated through soliton self-frequency shift (SSFS) of the pump laser in a large-mode-area (LMA) fiber. The resulting wavelengths are well matched to the two-photon absorption peaks of the three FPs for efficient excitation. Our results demonstrate that multi-color femtosecond pulse generation using SSFS and a turn-key, fiber-based femtosecond laser can fulfill the requirements for simultaneous imaging of multiple FPs in 2PM, opening new opportunities for a wide range of biological applications where non-invasive, high-resolution imaging of multiple fluorescent indicators is required.

  2. The 1.6 Å resolution structure of a FRET-optimized Cerulean fluorescent protein

    SciTech Connect

    Watkins, Jennifer L.; Kim, Hanseong; Markwardt, Michele L.; Chen, Liqing; Fromme, Raimund; Rizzo, Mark A.; Wachter, Rebekka M.

    2013-05-01

    The high resolution X-ray structure of the cyan fluorescent protein mCerulean3 demonstrates that different combinations of correlated residue substitutions can provide near optimum quantum yield values for fluorescence. Genetically encoded cyan fluorescent proteins (CFPs) bearing a tryptophan-derived chromophore are commonly used as energy-donor probes in Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments useful in live cell-imaging applications. In recent years, significant effort has been expended on eliminating the structural and excited-state heterogeneity of these proteins, which has been linked to undesirable photophysical properties. Recently, mCerulean3, a descendant of enhanced CFP, was introduced as an optimized FRET donor protein with a superior quantum yield of 0.87. Here, the 1.6 Å resolution X-ray structure of mCerulean3 is reported. The chromophore is shown to adopt a planar trans configuration at low pH values, indicating that the acid-induced isomerization of Cerulean has been eliminated. β-Strand 7 appears to be well ordered in a single conformation, indicating a loss of conformational heterogeneity in the vicinity of the chromophore. Although the side chains of Ile146 and Leu167 appear to exist in two rotamer states, they are found to be well packed against the indole group of the chromophore. The Ser65 reversion mutation allows improved side-chain packing of Leu220. A structural comparison with mTurquoise2 is presented and additional engineering strategies are discussed.

  3. Synthesis of highly fluorescent gold nanoclusters using egg white proteins.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Dickson; Geckeler, Kurt E

    2014-03-01

    Gold nanoclusters (AuNCs) have gained interest during the recent years because of their low toxicity and finer size for the bioimaging and biolabeling applications in comparison to the semiconductor quantum dot analogues. Diverse materials such as sulfur compounds, peptides, dendrimers, proteins, etc., are exploited for the preparation of AuNCs. Henceforth, highly fluorescent, water-soluble, and few atom-containing gold nanoclusters are created using a rapid, straightforward, and green method. In this regard for the first time chicken egg white (CEW), one of the most unique materials, is utilized in an aqueous solution under basic conditions at physiological temperature for the preparation of AuNCs. Tyrosine and tryptophan amino acid residues are responsible for the conversion of Au ions to Au(0) under alkaline condtions. CEW contains four major proteins of which the main constituent protein, ovalbumin also leads to the formation of the AuNCs with a higher fluorescence emission compared to the CEW. The ratios between the different reaction partners are very crucial, along with temperature and time for the preparation of AuNCs with high photoluminescence emission. The limited vibrational motion of the proteins under alkaline condition and the bulkiness of the proteins help in the formation of AuNCs. PMID:24321847

  4. Bright monomeric near-infrared fluorescent proteins as tags and biosensors for multiscale imaging

    PubMed Central

    Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Baloban, Mikhail; Emelyanov, Alexander V.; Brenowitz, Michael; Guo, Peng; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2016-01-01

    Monomeric near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent proteins (FPs) are in high demand as protein tags and components of biosensors for deep-tissue imaging and multicolour microscopy. We report three bright and spectrally distinct monomeric NIR FPs, termed miRFPs, engineered from bacterial phytochrome, which can be used as easily as GFP-like FPs. miRFPs are 2–5-fold brighter in mammalian cells than other monomeric NIR FPs and perform well in protein fusions, allowing multicolour structured illumination microscopy. miRFPs enable development of several types of NIR biosensors, such as for protein–protein interactions, RNA detection, signalling cascades and cell fate. We demonstrate this by engineering the monomeric fluorescence complementation reporters, the IκBα reporter for NF-κB pathway and the cell cycle biosensor for detection of proliferation status of cells in culture and in animals. miRFPs allow non-invasive visualization and detection of biological processes at different scales, from super-resolution microscopy to in vivo imaging, using the same probes. PMID:27539380

  5. Prolonged irradiation of enhanced cyan fluorescent protein or Cerulean can invalidate Forster resonance energy transfer measurements.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Birgit; Zimmer, Thomas; Klöcker, Nikolaj; Kelbauskas, Laimonas; König, Karsten; Benndorf, Klaus; Biskup, Christoph

    2008-01-01

    Since its discovery, green fluorescent protein (GFP) and its variants have proven to be a good and convenient fluorescent label for proteins: GFP and other visible fluorescent proteins (VFPs) can be fused selectively to the protein of interest by simple cloning techniques and develop fluorescence without additional cofactors. Among the steadily growing collection of VFPs, several pairs can be chosen that can serve as donor and acceptor fluorophores in Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments. Among them, the cyan fluorescent proteins (ECFP/Cerulean) and the enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) are most commonly used. We show that ECFP and Cerulean have some disadvantages despite their common use: Upon irradiation with light intensities that are commonly used for intensity- and lifetime-based FRET measurements, both the fluorescence intensity and the fluorescence lifetime of ECFP and Cerulean decrease. This can hamper both intensity- and lifetime-based FRET measurements and emphasizes the need for control measurements to exclude these artifacts. PMID:18601529

  6. Using Green and Red Fluorescent Proteins to Teach Protein Expression, Purification, and Crystallization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Yifeng; Zhou, Yangbin; Song, Jiaping; Hu, Xiaojian; Ding, Yu; Zhang, Zhihong

    2008-01-01

    We have designed a laboratory curriculum using the green and red fluorescent proteins (GFP and RFP) to visualize the cloning, expression, chromatography purification, crystallization, and protease-cleavage experiments of protein science. The EGFP and DsRed monomer (mDsRed)-coding sequences were amplified by PCR and cloned into pMAL (MBP-EGFP) or…

  7. Recombination-stable multimeric green fluorescent protein for characterization of weak promoter outputs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Rugbjerg, Peter; Knuf, Christoph; Förster, Jochen; Sommer, Morten O A

    2015-12-01

    Green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) are widely used for visualization of proteins to track localization and expression dynamics. However, phenotypically important processes can operate at too low expression levels for routine detection, i.e. be overshadowed by autofluorescence noise. While GFP functions well in translational fusions, the use of tandem GFPs to amplify fluorescence signals is currently avoided in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and many other microorganisms due to the risk of loop-out by direct-repeat recombination. We increased GFP fluorescence by translationally fusing three different GFP variants, yeast-enhanced GFP, GFP+ and superfolder GFP to yield a sequence-diverged triple GFP molecule 3vGFP with 74-84% internal repeat identity. Unlike a single GFP, the brightness of 3vGFP allowed characterization of a weak promoter in S. cerevisiae. Utilizing 3vGFP, we further engineered a less leaky Cu(2+)-inducible promoter based on CUP1. The basal expression level of the new promoter was approximately 61% below the wild-type CUP1 promoter, thus expanding the absolute range of Cu(2+)-based gene control. The stability of 3vGFP towards direct-repeat recombination was assayed in S. cerevisiae cultured for 25 generations under strong and slightly toxic expression after which only limited reduction in fluorescence was detectable. Such non-recombinogenic GFPs can help quantify intracellular responses operating a low copy number in recombination-prone organisms. PMID:26392044

  8. Molecular Engineering of Acoustic Protein Nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Lakshmanan, Anupama; Farhadi, Arash; Nety, Suchita P; Lee-Gosselin, Audrey; Bourdeau, Raymond W; Maresca, David; Shapiro, Mikhail G

    2016-08-23

    Ultrasound is among the most widely used biomedical imaging modalities, but has limited ability to image specific molecular targets due to the lack of suitable nanoscale contrast agents. Gas vesicles-genetically encoded protein nanostructures isolated from buoyant photosynthetic microbes-have recently been identified as nanoscale reporters for ultrasound. Their unique physical properties give gas vesicles significant advantages over conventional microbubble contrast agents, including nanoscale dimensions and inherent physical stability. Furthermore, as a genetically encoded material, gas vesicles present the possibility that the nanoscale mechanical, acoustic, and targeting properties of an imaging agent can be engineered at the level of its constituent proteins. Here, we demonstrate that genetic engineering of gas vesicles results in nanostructures with new mechanical, acoustic, surface, and functional properties to enable harmonic, multiplexed, and multimodal ultrasound imaging as well as cell-specific molecular targeting. These results establish a biomolecular platform for the engineering of acoustic nanomaterials. PMID:27351374

  9. Interferences of Silica Nanoparticles in Green Fluorescent Protein Folding Processes.

    PubMed

    Klein, Géraldine; Devineau, Stéphanie; Aude, Jean Christophe; Boulard, Yves; Pasquier, Hélène; Labarre, Jean; Pin, Serge; Renault, Jean Philippe

    2016-01-12

    We investigated the relationship between unfolded proteins, silica nanoparticles and chaperonin to determine whether unfolded proteins could stick to silica surfaces and how this process could impair heat shock protein activity. The HSP60 catalyzed green fluorescent protein (GFP) folding was used as a model system. The adsorption isotherms and adsorption kinetics of denatured GFP were measured, showing that denaturation increases GFP affinity for silica surfaces. This affinity is maintained even if the surfaces are covered by a protein corona and allows silica NPs to interfere directly with GFP folding by trapping it in its unstructured state. We determined also the adsorption isotherms of HSP60 and its chaperonin activity once adsorbed, showing that SiO2 NP can interfere also indirectly with protein folding through chaperonin trapping and inhibition. This inhibition is specifically efficient when NPs are covered first with a layer of unfolded proteins. These results highlight for the first time the antichaperonin activity of silica NPs and ask new questions about the toxicity of such misfolded proteins/nanoparticles assembly toward cells. PMID:26649773

  10. Fluorescent labeling of tetracysteine-tagged proteins in intact cells

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Carsten; Gaietta, Guido; Zürn, Alexander; Adams, Stephen R; Terrillon, Sonia; Ellisman, Mark H; Tsien, Roger Y; Lohse, Martin J

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, we provide a general protocol for labeling proteins with the membrane-permeant fluorogenic biarsenical dye fluorescein arsenical hairpin binder–ethanedithiol (FlAsH-EDT2). Generation of the tetracysteine-tagged protein construct by itself is not described, as this is a protein-specific process. This method allows site-selective labeling of proteins in living cells and has been applied to a wide variety of proteins and biological problems. We provide here a generally applicable labeling procedure and discuss the problems that can occur as well as general considerations that must be taken into account when designing and implementing the procedure. The method can even be applied to proteins with expression below 1 pmol mg−1 of protein, such as G protein–coupled receptors, and it can be used to study the intracellular localization of proteins as well as functional interactions in fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments. The labeling procedure using FlAsH-EDT2 as described takes 2–3 h, depending on the number of samples to be processed. PMID:20885379

  11. Structural Tuning of the Fluorescent Protein iLOV for Improved Photostability*

    PubMed Central

    Christie, John M.; Hitomi, Kenichi; Arvai, Andrew S.; Hartfield, Kimberly A.; Mettlen, Marcel; Pratt, Ashley J.; Tainer, John A.; Getzoff, Elizabeth D.

    2012-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins derived from light, oxygen, or voltage (LOV) domains offer advantages over green fluorescent protein (GFP) from their small size and efficacy under anaerobic conditions. The flavoprotein improved LOV (iLOV) was engineered from the blue light receptor phototropin as a reporter of viral infection. To inform the molecular basis for the improved, photoreversible, fluorescent properties of iLOV, we employed directed evolution and determined five LOV crystallographic structures. Comparative structural analyses between iLOV and its progenitors reveal mutation-induced constraints in the environment of the flavin mononucleotide (FMN) chromophore; in iLOV, the methyl group of Thr-394 “crowds” the FMN isoalloxazine ring, Leu-470 triggers side chain “flipping” of Leu-472, and the terminal FMN phosphate shows increased anchoring. We further engineered iLOV variants that are readily detectable in bacterial and mammalian cells due to order-of-magnitude photostability increases. Structure determination of a resulting representative photostable iLOV (phiLOV) variant reveals additional constraints on the chromophore. Aromatic residues Tyr-401 and Phe-485 in phiLOV sandwich the FMN isoalloxazine ring from both sides, whereas Ser-390 anchors the side chain of FMN-interacting Gln-489 Our combined structural and mutational results reveal that constraining the FMN fluorophore yields improved photochemical properties for iLOV and its new photostable derivative. These findings provide a framework for structural fine-tuning of LOV scaffold proteins to maximize their potential as oxygen-independent fluorescent reporters. PMID:22573334

  12. Dynamic regulation of fluorescent proteins from a single species of coral.

    PubMed

    Kao, Hung-Teh; Sturgis, Shelby; DeSalle, Rob; Tsai, Julia; Davis, Douglas; Gruber, David F; Pieribone, Vincent A

    2007-01-01

    To gain a better understanding of the natural function of fluorescent proteins, we have undertaken quantitative analyses of these proteins in a single species of coral, Montastraea cavernosa, residing around Turneffe atoll, on the Belizean Barrier Reef. We identified at least 10 members of a fluorescent protein family in this species, which consist of 4 distinct spectral classes. As much as a 10-fold change in the overall expression of fluorescent proteins was observed from specimen to specimen, suggesting that fluorescent proteins are dynamically regulated in response to environmental or physiological conditions. We found that the expression of some proteins was inversely correlated with depth, and that groups of proteins were coordinately expressed. There was no relationship between the expression of fluorescent proteins and the natural coloration of the Montastraea cavernosa specimens in this study. These findings have implications for current hypotheses regarding the properties and natural function of fluorescent proteins. PMID:17955294

  13. Fluorescence imaging of angiogenesis in green fluorescent protein-expressing tumors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Meng; Baranov, Eugene; Jiang, Ping; Li, Xiao-Ming; Wang, Jin W.; Li, Lingna; Yagi, Shigeo; Moossa, A. R.; Hoffman, Robert M.

    2002-05-01

    The development of therapeutics for the control of tumor angiogenesis requires a simple, reliable in vivo assay for tumor-induced vascularization. For this purpose, we have adapted the orthotopic implantation model of angiogenesis by using human and rodent tumors genetically tagged with Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein (GFP) for grafting into nude mice. Genetically-fluorescent tumors can be readily imaged in vivo. The non-luminous induced capillaries are clearly visible against the bright tumor fluorescence examined either intravitally or by whole-body luminance in real time. Fluorescence shadowing replaces the laborious histological techniques for determining blood vessel density. High-level GFP-expressing tumor cell lines made it possible to acquire the high-resolution real-time fluorescent optical images of angiogenesis in both primary tumors and their metastatic lesions in various human and rodent tumor models by means of a light-based imaging system. Intravital images of angiogenesis onset and development were acquired and quantified from a GFP- expressing orthotopically-growing human prostate tumor over a 19-day period. Whole-body optical imaging visualized vessel density increasing linearly over a 20-week period in orthotopically-growing, GFP-expressing human breast tumor MDA-MB-435. Vessels in an orthotopically-growing GFP- expressing Lewis lung carcinoma tumor were visualized through the chest wall via a reversible skin flap. These clinically-relevant angiogenesis mouse models can be used for real-time in vivo evaluation of agents inhibiting or promoting tumor angiogenesis in physiological micro- environments.

  14. Photoactive yellow protein-based protein labeling system with turn-on fluorescence intensity.

    PubMed

    Hori, Yuichiro; Ueno, Hideki; Mizukami, Shin; Kikuchi, Kazuya

    2009-11-25

    Protein labeling provides significant information about protein function. In this research, we developed a novel protein labeling technique by utilizing photoactive yellow protein (PYP). PYP is a small protein (14 kDa) derived from purple bacteria and binds to 7-hydroxycoumarin-3-carboxylic acid as well as to a natural ligand, 4-hydroxycinnamic acid, through a thioester bond with Cys69. Based on the structure and fluorescence property of this coumarin derivative, we designed two fluorescent probes that bind to PYP. One has an azido moiety, which allows stepwise labeling by click chemistry, and the other is a fluorogenic probe. The live-cell imaging and specific labeling of PYP were achieved by using both probes. The flexibility of the probe design and the small size of the tag protein are great advantages of this system against the existing methods. This novel labeling technique can be used in a wide variety of applications for biological research. PMID:19877615

  15. Dentin Matrix Proteins in Bone Tissue Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Ravindran, Sriram

    2016-01-01

    Dentin and bone are mineralized tissue matrices comprised of collagen fibrils and reinforced with oriented crystalline hydroxyapatite. Although both tissues perform different functionalities, they are assembled and orchestrated by mesenchymal cells that synthesize both collagenous and noncollagenous proteins albeit in different proportions. The dentin matrix proteins (DMPs) have been studied in great detail in recent years due to its inherent calcium binding properties in the extracellular matrix resulting in tissue calcification. Recent studies have shown that these proteins can serve both as intracellular signaling proteins leading to induction of stem cell differentiation and also function as nucleating proteins in the extracellular matrix. These properties make the DMPs attractive candidates for bone and dentin tissue regeneration. This chapter will provide an overview of the DMPs, their functionality and their proven and possible applications with respect to bone tissue engineering. PMID:26545748

  16. Circularly permuted monomeric red fluorescent proteins with new termini in the beta-sheet.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Haley J; Cotton, Darrel W; Campbell, Robert E

    2010-08-01

    Circularly permuted fluorescent proteins (FPs) have a growing number of uses in live cell fluorescence biosensing applications. Most notably, they enable the construction of single fluorescent protein-based biosensors for Ca(2+) and other analytes of interest. Circularly permuted FPs are also of great utility in the optimization of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based biosensors by providing a means for varying the critical dipole-dipole orientation. We have previously reported on our efforts to create circularly permuted variants of a monomeric red FP (RFP) known as mCherry. In our previous work, we had identified six distinct locations within mCherry that tolerated the insertion of a short peptide sequence. Creation of circularly permuted variants with new termini at the locations corresponding to the sites of insertion led to the discovery of three permuted variants that retained no more than 18% of the brightness of mCherry. We now report the extensive directed evolution of the variant with new termini at position 193 of the protein sequence for improved fluorescent brightness. The resulting variant, known as cp193g7, has 61% of the intrinsic brightness of mCherry and was found to be highly tolerant of circular permutation at other locations within the sequence. We have exploited this property to engineer an expanded series of circularly permuted variants with new termini located along the length of the 10th beta-strand of mCherry. These new variants may ultimately prove useful for the creation of single FP-based Ca(2+) biosensors. PMID:20521333

  17. Application of fluorescence resonance energy transfer in protein studies

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Linlin; Yang, Fan; Zheng, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Since the physical process of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) was elucidated more than six decades ago, this peculiar fluorescence phenomenon has turned into a powerful tool for biomedical research due to its compatibility in scale with biological molecules as well as rapid developments in novel fluorophores and optical detection techniques. A wide variety of FRET approaches have been devised, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Especially in the last decade or so, we are witnessing a flourish of FRET applications in biological investigations, many of which exemplify clever experimental design and rigorous analysis. Here we review the current stage of FRET methods development with the main focus on its applications in protein studies in biological systems, by summarizing the basic components of FRET techniques, most established quantification methods, as well as potential pitfalls, illustrated by example applications. PMID:25368432

  18. Red Fluorescent Proteins: Advanced Imaging Applications and Future Design

    PubMed Central

    Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Subach, Oksana M.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2015-01-01

    In the past few years a large series of the advanced red-shifted fluorescent proteins (RFPs) has been developed. These enhanced RFPs provide new possibilities to study biological processes at the levels ranging from single molecules to whole organisms. Herein the relationship between the properties of the RFPs of different phenotypes and their applications to various imaging techniques are described. Existing and emerging imaging approaches are discussed for conventional RFPs, far-red FPs, RFPs with a large Stokes shift, fluorescent timers, irreversibly photoactivatable and reversibly photo-switchable RFPs. Advantages and limitations of specific RFPs for each technique are presented. Recent progress in understanding the chemical transformations of red chromophores allows the future RFP phenotypes and their respective novel imaging applications to be foreseen. PMID:22851529

  19. Single molecule fluorescence experiments determine protein folding transition path times

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Hoi Sung; McHale, Kevin; Louis, John M.; Eaton, William A.

    2013-01-01

    The transition path is the tiny fraction of an equilibrium molecular trajectory when a transition occurs by crossing the free-energy barrier between two states. It is a single-molecule property that contains all the mechanistic information on how a process occurs. As a step toward observing transition paths in protein folding we determined the average transition-path time for a fast- and a slow-folding protein from a photon-by-photon analysis of fluorescence trajectories in single-molecule Förster-resonance-energy-transfer experiments. While the folding rate coefficients differ by a factor of 10,000, the transition-path times differ by less than a factor of 5, showing that a fast-and a slow-folding protein take almost the same time to fold when folding actually happens. A very simple model based on energy landscape theory can explain this result. PMID:22363011

  20. Engineering and exploitation of a fluorescent HIV-1 gp120 for live cell CD4 binding assays

    SciTech Connect

    Costantini, Lindsey M.; Irvin, Susan C.; Kennedy, Steven C.; Guo, Feng; Goldstein, Harris; Herold, Betsy C.; Snapp, Erik L.

    2015-02-15

    The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein, gp120, binds the host cell receptor, CD4, in the initial step of HIV viral entry and infection. This process is an appealing target for the development of inhibitory drugs and neutralizing antibodies. To study gp120 binding and intracellular trafficking, we engineered a fluorescent fusion of the humanized gp120 JRFL HIV-1 variant and GFP. Gp120-sfGFP is glycosylated with human sugars, robustly expressed, and secreted from cultured human cells. Protein dynamics, quality control, and trafficking can be visualized in live cells. The fusion protein can be readily modified with different gp120 variants or fluorescent proteins. Finally, secreted gp120-sfGFP enables a sensitive and easy binding assay that can quantitatively screen potential inhibitors of gp120-CD4 binding on live cells via fluorescence imaging or laser scanning cytometry. This adaptable research tool should aid in studies of gp120 cell biology and the development of novel anti-HIV drugs. - Highlights: • Development of fluorescent protein labeled HIV-1 envelope gp120. • Imaging of gp120 dynamics and trafficking in live cells. • Quantitative visual assay of antibody-mediated inhibition of gp120 binding to CD4 on live cells.

  1. Nucleic acid encoding a self-assembling split-fluorescent protein system

    DOEpatents

    Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Cabantous, Stephanie

    2011-06-07

    The invention provides a protein labeling and detection system based on self-complementing fragments of fluorescent and chromophoric proteins. The system of the invention is exemplified with various combinations of self-complementing fragments derived from Aequorea victoria Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), which are used to detect and quantify protein solubility in multiple assay formats, both in vitro and in vivo.

  2. Nucleic acid encoding a self-assembling split-fluorescent protein system

    DOEpatents

    Waldo, Geoffrey S; Cabantous, Stephanie

    2014-04-01

    The invention provides a protein labeling and detection system based on self-complementing fragments of fluorescent and chromophoric proteins. The system of the invention is exemplified with various combinations of self-complementing fragments derived from Aequorea victoria Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), which are used to detect and quantify protein solubility in multiple assay formats, both in vitro and in vivo.

  3. Nucleic acid encoding a self-assembling split-fluorescent protein system

    DOEpatents

    Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Cabantous, Stephanie

    2015-07-14

    The invention provides a protein labeling and detection system based on self-complementing fragments of fluorescent and chromophoric proteins. The system of the invention is exemplified with various combinations of self-complementing fragments derived from Aequorea victoria Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), which are used to detect and quantify protein solubility in multiple assay formats, both in vitro and in vivo.

  4. Investigating protein-protein interactions in living cells using fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yuansheng; Day, Richard N; Periasamy, Ammasi

    2011-01-01

    Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) is now routinely used for dynamic measurements of signaling events inside living cells, including detection of protein-protein interactions. An understanding of the basic physics of fluorescence lifetime measurements is required to use this technique. In this protocol, we describe both the time-correlated single photon counting and the frequency-domain methods for FLIM data acquisition and analysis. We describe calibration of both FLIM systems, and demonstrate how they are used to measure the quenched donor fluorescence lifetime that results from Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET ). We then show how the FLIM-FRET methods are used to detect the dimerization of the transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-α in live mouse pituitary cell nuclei. Notably, the factors required for accurate determination and reproducibility of lifetime measurements are described. With either method, the entire protocol including specimen preparation, imaging and data analysis takes ~2 d. PMID:21886099

  5. Deep-tissue multiphoton fluorescence lifetime microscopy for intravital imaging of protein-protein interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fruhwirth, G. O.; Matthews, D. R.; Brock, A.; Keppler, M.; Vojnovic, B.; Ng, T.; Ameer-Beg, S.

    2009-02-01

    Fluorescent lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) has proven to be a valuable tool in beating the Rayleigh criterion for light microscopy by measuring Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between two fluorophores. Applying multiphoton FLIM, we previously showed in a human breast cancer cell line that recycling of a membrane receptorgreen fluorescent protein fusion is enhanced concomitantly with the formation of a receptor:protein kinase C α complex in the endosomal compartment. We have extended this established technique to probe direct protein-protein interactions also in vivo. Therefore, we used various expressible fluorescent tags fused to membrane receptor molecules in order to generate stable two-colour breast carcinoma cell lines via controlled retroviral infection. We used these cell lines for establishing a xenograft tumour model in immune-compromised Nude mice. Using this animal model in conjunction with scanning Ti:Sapphire laser-based two-photon excitation, we established deep-tissue multiphoton FLIM in vivo. For the first time, this novel technique enables us to directly assess donor fluorescence lifetime changes in vivo and we show the application of this method for intravital imaging of direct protein-protein interactions.

  6. Cis-trans photoisomerization of fluorescent-protein chromophores.

    PubMed

    Voliani, Valerio; Bizzarri, Ranieri; Nifosì, Riccardo; Abbruzzetti, Stefania; Grandi, Elena; Viappiani, Cristiano; Beltram, Fabio

    2008-08-28

    Photochromic variants of fluorescent proteins are opening the way to a number of opportunities for high-sensitivity regioselective studies in the cellular environment and may even lead to applications in information and communication technology. Yet, the detailed photophysical processes at the basis of photoswitching have not been fully clarified. In this paper, we used synthetic FP chromophores to clarify the photophysical processes associated with the photochromic behavior. In particular, we investigated the spectral modification of synthetic chromophore analogues of wild-type green fluorescent protein (GFP), Y66F GFP (BFPF), and Y66W GFP (CFP) upon irradiation in solutions of different polarities. We found that the cis-trans photoisomerization mechanism can be induced in all the chromophores. The structural assignments were carried out both by NMR measurements and DFT calculations. Remarkably, we determined for the first time the spectra of neutral trans isomers in different solvents. Finally, we calculated the photoconversion quantum yields by absorption measurements under continuous illumination at different times and by a nanosecond laser-flash photolysis method. Our results indicate that cis-trans photoisomerization is a general mechanism of FP chromophores whose efficiency is modulated by the detailed mutant-specific protein environment. PMID:18671358

  7. Green Fluorescent Protein-Tagged Retroviral Envelope Protein for Analysis of Virus-Cell Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Spitzer, Dirk; Dittmar, Kurt E. J.; Rohde, Manfred; Hauser, Hansjörg; Wirth, Dagmar

    2003-01-01

    Fluorescent retroviral envelope (Env) proteins were developed for direct visualization of viral particles. By fusing the enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) to the N terminus of the amphotropic 4070A envelope protein, extracellular presentation of eGFP was achieved. Viruses incorporated the modified Env protein and efficiently infected cells. We used the GFP-tagged viruses for staining retrovirus receptor-positive cells, thereby circumventing indirect labeling techniques. By generating cells which conditionally expressed the GFP-tagged Env protein, we could confirm an inverse correlation between retroviral Env expression and infectivity (superinfection). eGFP-tagged virus particles are suitable for monitoring the dynamics of virus-cell interactions. PMID:12719600

  8. Cyanine-based probe\\tag-peptide pair fluorescence protein imaging and fluorescence protein imaging methods

    DOEpatents

    Mayer-Cumblidge, M. Uljana; Cao, Haishi

    2013-01-15

    A molecular probe comprises two arsenic atoms and at least one cyanine based moiety. A method of producing a molecular probe includes providing a molecule having a first formula, treating the molecule with HgOAc, and subsequently transmetallizing with AsCl.sub.3. The As is liganded to ethanedithiol to produce a probe having a second formula. A method of labeling a peptide includes providing a peptide comprising a tag sequence and contacting the peptide with a biarsenical molecular probe. A complex is formed comprising the tag sequence and the molecular probe. A method of studying a peptide includes providing a mixture containing a peptide comprising a peptide tag sequence, adding a biarsenical probe to the mixture, and monitoring the fluorescence of the mixture.

  9. Localized entrapment of green fluorescent protein within nanostructured polymer films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ankner, John; Kozlovskaya, Veronika; O'Neill, Hugh; Zhang, Qiu; Kharlampieva, Eugenia

    2012-02-01

    Protein entrapment within ultrathin polymer films is of interest for applications in biosensing, drug delivery, and bioconversion, but controlling protein distribution within the films is difficult. We report on nanostructured protein/polyelectrolyte (PE) materials obtained through incorporation of green fluorescent protein (GFP) within poly(styrene sulfonate)/poly(allylamine hydrochloride) multilayer films assembled via the spin-assisted layer-by-layer method. By using deuterated GFP as a marker for neutron scattering contrast we have inferred the architecture of the films in both normal and lateral directions. We find that films assembled with a single GFP layer exhibit a strong localization of the GFP without intermixing into the PE matrix. The GFP volume fraction approaches the monolayer density of close-packed randomly oriented GFP molecules. However, intermixing of the GFP with the PE matrix occurs in multiple-GFP layer films. Our results yield new insight into the organization of immobilized proteins within polyelectrolyte matrices and open opportunities for fabrication of protein-containing films with well-organized structure and controllable function, a crucial requirement for advanced sensing applications.

  10. Green Fluorescent Protein as a Visual Marker in Somatic Hybridization

    PubMed Central

    OLIVARES‐FUSTER, O.; PEÑA, L.; DURAN‐VILA, N.; NAVARRO, L.

    2002-01-01

    Using a transgenic citrus plant expressing Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) as a parent in somatic fusion experiments, we investigated the suitability of GFP as an in vivo marker to follow the processes of protoplast fusion, regeneration and selection of hybrid plants. A high level of GFP expression was detected in transgenic citrus protoplasts, hybrid callus, embryos and plants. It is demonstrated that GFP can be used for the continuous monitoring of the fusion process, localization of hybrid colonies and callus, and selection of somatic hybrid embryos and plants. PMID:12096810

  11. Fluorescent, bioactive protein nanoparticles (prodots) for rapid, improved cellular uptake.

    PubMed

    Deshapriya, Inoka K; Stromer, Bobbi S; Pattammattel, Ajith; Kim, Christina S; Iglesias-Bartolome, Ramiro; Gonzalez-Fajardo, Laura; Patel, Vyomesh; Gutkind, J Silvio; Lu, Xiuling; Kumar, Challa V

    2015-03-18

    A simple and effective method for synthesizing highly fluorescent, protein-based nanoparticles (Prodots) and their facile uptake into the cytoplasm of cells is described here. Prodots made from bovine serum albumin (nBSA), glucose oxidase (nGO), horseradish peroxidase (nHRP), catalase (nCatalase), and lipase (nLipase) were found to be 15-50 nm wide and have been characterized by gel electrophoresis, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), circular dichroism (CD), fluorescence spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and optical microscopic methods. Data showed that the secondary structure of the protein in Prodots is retained to a significant extent and specific activities of nGO, nHRP, nCatalase, and nLipase were 80%, 70%, 65%, and 50% of their respective unmodified enzyme activities. Calorimetric studies indicated that the denaturation temperatures of nGO and nBSA increased while those of other Prodots remained nearly unchanged, and accelerated storage half-lives of Prodots at 60 °C increased by 4- to 8-fold. Exposure of nGO and nBSA+ nGO to cells indicated rapid uptake within 1-3 h, accompanied by significant blebbing of the plasma membrane, but no uptake has been noted in the absence of nGO. The presence of nGO/glucose in the media facilitated the uptake, and hydrogen peroxide induced membrane permeability could be responsible for this rapid uptake of Prodots. In control studies, FITC alone did not enter the cell, BSA-FITC was not internalized even in the presence of nGO, and there has been no uptake of nBSA-FITC in the absence of nGO. These are the very first examples of very rapid cellular uptake of fluorescent nanoparticles into cells, particularly nanoparticles made from pure proteins. The current approach is a simple and efficient method for the preparation of bioactive, fluorescent protein nanoparticles of controllable size for cellular imaging, and cell uptake is under the control of two separate chemical triggers. PMID:25642999

  12. Fluorescent Proteins in Cellular Organelles: Serious Pitfalls and Some Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Costantini, Lindsey M.

    2013-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins (FPs) have been powerful tools for cell biologists for over 15 years. The large variety of FPs available rarely comes with an instruction manual or a warning label. The potential pitfalls of the use of FPs in cellular organelles represent a significant concern for investigators. FPs generally did not evolve in the often distinctive physicochemical environments of subcellular organelles. In organelles, FPs can misfold, go dark, and even distort organelle morphology. In this minireview, we describe the issues associated with FPs in organelles and provide solutions to enable investigators to better exploit FP technology in cells. PMID:23971632

  13. Green fluorescent protein-based expression screening of membrane proteins in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Bird, Louise E; Rada, Heather; Verma, Anil; Gasper, Raphael; Birch, James; Jennions, Matthew; Lӧwe, Jan; Moraes, Isabel; Owens, Raymond J

    2015-01-01

    The production of recombinant membrane proteins for structural and functional studies remains technically challenging due to low levels of expression and the inherent instability of many membrane proteins once solubilized in detergents. A protocol is described that combines ligation independent cloning of membrane proteins as GFP fusions with expression in Escherichia coli detected by GFP fluorescence. This enables the construction and expression screening of multiple membrane protein/variants to identify candidates suitable for further investment of time and effort. The GFP reporter is used in a primary screen of expression by visualizing GFP fluorescence following SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Membrane proteins that show both a high expression level with minimum degradation as indicated by the absence of free GFP, are selected for a secondary screen. These constructs are scaled and a total membrane fraction prepared and solubilized in four different detergents. Following ultracentrifugation to remove detergent-insoluble material, lysates are analyzed by fluorescence detection size exclusion chromatography (FSEC). Monitoring the size exclusion profile by GFP fluorescence provides information about the mono-dispersity and integrity of the membrane proteins in different detergents. Protein: detergent combinations that elute with a symmetrical peak with little or no free GFP and minimum aggregation are candidates for subsequent purification. Using the above methodology, the heterologous expression in E. coli of SED (shape, elongation, division, and sporulation) proteins from 47 different species of bacteria was analyzed. These proteins typically have ten transmembrane domains and are essential for cell division. The results show that the production of the SEDs orthologues in E. coli was highly variable with respect to the expression levels and integrity of the GFP fusion proteins. The experiment identified a subset for further investigation. PMID

  14. Expression of recombinant green fluorescent protein in Bacillus methanolicus.

    PubMed

    Nilasari, Dewi; Dover, Nir; Rech, Sabine; Komives, Claire

    2012-01-01

    Microbial biocatalysts are used in a wide range of industries to produce large scale quantities of proteins, amino acids, and commodity chemicals. While the majority of these processes use glucose or other low-cost sugars as the substrate, Bacillus methanolicus is one example of a biocatalyst that has shown sustained growth on methanol as a carbon source at elevated temperature (50-53°C optimum) resulting in reduced feed and utility costs. Specifically, the complete chemical process enabled by this approach takes methane from natural gas, and following a low-cost conversion to methanol, can be used for the production of high value products. In this study, production of recombinant green fluorescent protein (GFPuv) by B. methanolicus is explored. A plasmid was constructed that incorporates the methanol dehydrogenase (mdh) promoter of B. methanolicus MGA3 together with the GFPuv gene. The plasmid, pNW33N, was shown to be effective for expression in other Bacillus strains, although not previously in B. methanolicus. A published electroporation protocol for transformation of B. methanolicus was modified to result in expression of GFP using plasmid pNW33N-mdh-GFPuv (pNmG). Transformation was confirmed by both agarose gel electrophoresis and by observation of green fluorescence under UV light exposure. The mass yield of cells and protein were measured in shake flask experiments. The optimum concentration of methanol for protein production was found to be at 200 mM. Higher concentrations than 200 mM resulted in slightly higher biomass production but lower amounts of recombinant protein. PMID:22275315

  15. Binding phenomena and fluorescence quenching. II: Photophysics of aromatic residues and dependence of fluorescence spectra on protein conformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callis, Patrik R.

    2014-12-01

    The three amino acids with aromatic ring side chains-phenylalanine (Phe), tyrosine (Tyr), and especially tryptophan (Trp) have played a long and productive role in helping unlock the secrets of protein behavior by optical spectroscopy (absorption, fluorescence, circular dichroism, etc.) In principle, an appropriately placed Trp will undergo fluorescence wavelength and/or intensity changes upon whatever functional process a protein performs. Although perceived to be enigmatic and not well understood, Trp is arguably now better understood than many of the extrinsic probes currently in use. Basic principles of intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence quenching and wavelength shifts in proteins are presented, with strong emphasis on the importance of electrostatics. The condensed description of findings from recent experiments and simulations of tryptophan fluorescence and intrinsic quenching in proteins is designed to help authors in planning and interpreting experimental results of ligand binding studies.

  16. Anaerobic green fluorescent protein as a marker of Bifidobacterium strains.

    PubMed

    Landete, José M; Peirotén, Ángela; Rodríguez, Eva; Margolles, Abelardo; Medina, Margarita; Arqués, Juan L

    2014-04-01

    Some strains of Bifidobacterium are considered as probiotics and are being added as adjunct culture in food products due to their potential in maintaining a healthy intestinal microbial balance. However, despite these benefits, bifidobacteria still remain poorly understood at the genetic level compared with other microorganisms of industrial interest. In this work, we have developed a non-invasive green fluorescent based reporter system for real-time tracking of Bifidobacterium species in vivo. The reporter vector pNZ:Tu-GFPana is based on the pNZ8048 plasmid harboring a bifidobacterial promoter (elongation factor Tu from Bifidobacterium longum CECT 4551) and a fluorescent protein containing a flavin-mono-nucleotide-based cofactor (evoglow-Pp1) which is fluorescent under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. pNZ:Tu-GFPana was constructed and found to stably replicate in B. longum CECT 4551 and in the intestinal strain Bifidobacterium breve INIA P734. The subsequent analysis of these strains allowed us to assess the functionality of this plasmid. Our results demonstrate the potential of pNZ:Tu-GFPana as a real-time reporter system for Bifidobacterium in order to track the behavior of this probiotic species in complex environments like food or intestinal microbiota, and to estimate their competition and colonization potential. PMID:24495586

  17. Analysis of protein-ligand interactions by fluorescence polarization

    PubMed Central

    Rossi, Ana M.; Taylor, Colin W.

    2011-01-01

    Quantification of the associations between biomolecules is required both to predict and understand the interactions that underpin all biological activity. Fluorescence polarization (FP) provides a non-disruptive means of measuring the association of a fluorescent ligand with a larger molecule. We describe an FP assay in which binding of fluorescein-labelled inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) to N-terminal fragments of IP3 receptors can be characterised at different temperatures and in competition with other ligands. The assay allows the standard Gibbs free energy (ΔG°), enthalpy (ΔH°) and entropy (ΔS°) changes of ligand binding to be determined. The method is applicable to any purified ligand-binding site for which an appropriate fluorescent ligand is available. FP can be used to measure low-affinity interactions in real-time without use of radioactive materials, it is non-destructive, and with appropriate care it can resolve ΔH° and ΔS°. The first part of the protocol, protein preparation, may take several weeks, while the FP measurements, once they have been optimised, would normally take 1-6 h. PMID:21372817

  18. Ground-State Proton Transfer Kinetics in Green Fluorescent Protein

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Proton transfer plays an important role in the optical properties of green fluorescent protein (GFP). While much is known about excited-state proton transfer reactions (ESPT) in GFP occurring on ultrafast time scales, comparatively little is understood about the factors governing the rates and pathways of ground-state proton transfer. We have utilized a specific isotopic labeling strategy in combination with one-dimensional 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to install and monitor a 13C directly adjacent to the GFP chromophore ionization site. The chemical shift of this probe is highly sensitive to the protonation state of the chromophore, and the resulting spectra reflect the thermodynamics and kinetics of the proton transfer in the NMR line shapes. This information is complemented by time-resolved NMR, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, and steady-state absorbance and fluorescence measurements to provide a picture of chromophore ionization reactions spanning a wide time domain. Our findings indicate that proton transfer in GFP is described well by a two-site model in which the chromophore is energetically coupled to a secondary site, likely the terminal proton acceptor of ESPT, Glu222. Additionally, experiments on a selection of GFP circular permutants suggest an important role played by the structural dynamics of the seventh β-strand in gating proton transfer from bulk solution to the buried chromophore. PMID:25184668

  19. Aequorea green fluorescent protein analysis by flow cytometry

    SciTech Connect

    Ropp, J.D.; Cuthbertson, R.A.; Donahue, C.J.; Wolfgang-Kimball, D.

    1995-12-01

    The isolation and expression of the cDNA for the green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the bioluminescent jellyfish Aequorea victoria has highlighted its potential use as a marker for gene expression in a variety of cell types. The longer wavelength peak (470 nm) of GFP`s bimodal absorption spectrum better matches standard fluorescein filter sets; however, it has a considerably lower amplitude than the major absorption peak at 395. In an effort to increase the sensitivity of GFP with routinely available instrumentation, Heim et al. have generated a GFP mutant (serine-65 to threonine; S65T-GFP) which possesses a single absorption peak centered at 490 nm. We have constructed this mutant in order to determine whether it or wild-type GFP (wt-GFP) afforded greater sensitivity when excited near their respective absorption maxima. Using the conventionally available 488 nm and ultraviolet (UV) laser lines from the argon ion laser as well as the 407 nm line from a krypton ion laser with enhanced violet emission, we were able to closely match the absorption maxima of both the S65T and wild-type forms of Aequorea GFP and analyze differences in fluorescence intensity of transiently transfected 293 cells with flow cytometry. The highest fluorescence signal was observed with 488 nm excitation of S65T-GFP relative to all other laser line/GFP pairs. The wt-GFP fluorescence intensity, in contrast, was significantly higher at 407 nm relative to either 488 nm or UV. These results were consistent with parallel spectrofluorometric analysis of the emission spectrum for wt-GFP and S65T- GFP. The relative contribution of cellular autofluorescence at each wavelength was also investigated and shown to be significantly reduced at 407 nm relative to either UV or 488 nm. 29 refs., 5 figs.

  20. Characterization of flavonoid-protein interactions using fluorescence spectroscopy: Binding of pelargonidin to dairy proteins.

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Maya, Izlia J; Campos-Terán, José; Hernández-Arana, Andrés; McClements, David Julian

    2016-12-15

    In this study, the interaction between the flavonoid pelargonidin and dairy proteins: β-lactoglobulin (β-LG), whey protein (WPI), and caseinate (CAS) was investigated. Fluorescence experiments demonstrated that pelargonidin quenched milk proteins fluorescence strongly. However, the protein secondary structure was not significantly affected by pelargonidin, as judged from far-UV circular dichroism. Analysis of fluorescence data indicated that pelargonidin-induced quenching does not arise from a dynamical mechanism, but instead is due to protein-ligand binding. Therefore, quenching data were analyzed using the model of independent binding sites. Both β-LG and CAS, but not WPI, showed hyperbolic binding isotherms indicating that these proteins firmly bound pelargonidin at both pH 7.0 and 3.0 (binding constants ca. 1.0×10(5) at 25.0°C). To investigate the underlying thermodynamics, binding constants were determined at 25.0, 35.0, and 45.0°C. These results pointed to binding processes that depend on the structural conformation of the milk proteins. PMID:27451201

  1. Engineering enhanced protein disaggregases for neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Jackrel, Meredith E; Shorter, James

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Protein misfolding and aggregation underpin several fatal neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). There are no treatments that directly antagonize the protein-misfolding events that cause these disorders. Agents that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native form and function could simultaneously eliminate any deleterious loss-of-function or toxic gain-of-function caused by misfolded conformers. Moreover, a disruptive technology of this nature would eliminate self-templating conformers that spread pathology and catalyze formation of toxic, soluble oligomers. Here, we highlight our efforts to engineer Hsp104, a protein disaggregase from yeast, to more effectively disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with PD, ALS, and FTD. Remarkably subtle modifications of Hsp104 primary sequence yielded large gains in protective activity against deleterious α-synuclein, TDP-43, FUS, and TAF15 misfolding. Unusually, in many cases loss of amino acid identity at select positions in Hsp104 rather than specific mutation conferred a robust therapeutic gain-of-function. Nevertheless, the misfolding and toxicity of EWSR1, an RNA-binding protein with a prion-like domain linked to ALS and FTD, could not be buffered by potentiated Hsp104 variants, indicating that further amelioration of disaggregase activity or sharpening of substrate specificity is warranted. We suggest that neuroprotection is achievable for diverse neurodegenerative conditions via surprisingly subtle structural modifications of existing chaperones. PMID:25738979

  2. Engineering enhanced protein disaggregases for neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Jackrel, Meredith E; Shorter, James

    2015-01-01

    Protein misfolding and aggregation underpin several fatal neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). There are no treatments that directly antagonize the protein-misfolding events that cause these disorders. Agents that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native form and function could simultaneously eliminate any deleterious loss-of-function or toxic gain-of-function caused by misfolded conformers. Moreover, a disruptive technology of this nature would eliminate self-templating conformers that spread pathology and catalyze formation of toxic, soluble oligomers. Here, we highlight our efforts to engineer Hsp104, a protein disaggregase from yeast, to more effectively disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with PD, ALS, and FTD. Remarkably subtle modifications of Hsp104 primary sequence yielded large gains in protective activity against deleterious α-synuclein, TDP-43, FUS, and TAF15 misfolding. Unusually, in many cases loss of amino acid identity at select positions in Hsp104 rather than specific mutation conferred a robust therapeutic gain-of-function. Nevertheless, the misfolding and toxicity of EWSR1, an RNA-binding protein with a prion-like domain linked to ALS and FTD, could not be buffered by potentiated Hsp104 variants, indicating that further amelioration of disaggregase activity or sharpening of substrate specificity is warranted. We suggest that neuroprotection is achievable for diverse neurodegenerative conditions via surprisingly subtle structural modifications of existing chaperones. PMID:25738979

  3. Plasmon-enhanced emission from single fluorescent proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donehue, Jessica E.; Haas, Beth L.; Wertz, Esther; Talicska, Courtney N.; Biteen, Julie S.

    2013-02-01

    In this work, we use evaporated gold nanoparticle films (GNPFs) as substrates for plasmon-enhanced imaging of two fluorescent proteins (FPs): mCherry and YFP. Through single-molecule epifluorescence microscopy, we show enhancement of single FP emission in the presence of GNPFs. The gold-coupled FPs demonstrate emission up to four times brighter and seven times longer lived, yielding order-of-magnitude enhancements in total photons detected. Ultimately, this results in increased localization accuracies for single-molecule imaging. Furthermore, we introduce preliminary results for enhancement of mCherry-labeled TcpP membrane proteins inside live Vibrio cholerae cells coupled to GNPFs. Our work indicates that plasmonic substrates are uniquely advantageous for super-resolution imaging and that plasmon-enhanced imaging is a promising technique for improving live cell single-molecule microscopy.

  4. Fluorescent Probe Encapsulated in SNAP-Tag Protein Cavity To Eliminate Nonspecific Fluorescence and Increase Detection Sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Yan-Syun; Gao, Ruo-Cing; Wu, Ting-Wei; Cho, Chien; Tan, Kui-Thong

    2016-08-17

    Despite the promising improvements made recently on fluorescence probes for the detection of enzymes and reactive small molecules, two fundamental problems remain: weaker fluorescence of many dyes in aqueous buffers and strong nonspecific signals in samples containing high protein levels. In this paper, we introduce a novel fluorescent probe encapsulated in protein cavity (FPEPC) concept as demonstrated by SNAP-tag protein and three environment-sensitive fluorescence probes to overcome these two problems. The probes were constructed by following the current probe design for enzymes and reactive small molecules but with an additional benzylguanine moiety for selective SNAP-tag conjugation. The SNAP-tag conjugated probes achieved quantitative nitroreductase and hydrogen sulfide detection in blood plasma, whereas analyte concentrations were overestimated up to 700-fold when bare fluorescent probes were employed for detection. Furthermore, detection sensitivity was increased dramatically, as our probes displayed 390-fold fluorescence enhancement upon SNAP-tag conjugation, in stark contrast to the weak fluorescence of the free probes in aqueous solutions. Compared with the conventional approaches where fluorescent probes are encapsulated into polymers and nanoparticles, our simple and general approach successfully overcame many key issues such as dye leakage, long preparation steps, inconsistent dye-host ratios, difficulty in constructing in situ in a complex medium, and limited application to detect only small metabolites. PMID:27463260

  5. Cell-based and in vivo spectral analysis of fluorescent proteins for multiphoton microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salomonnson, Emma; Mihalko, Laura Anne; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.; Luker, Kathryn E.; Luker, Gary D.

    2012-09-01

    Multiphoton microscopy of cells and subcellular structures labeled with fluorescent proteins is the state-of-the-art technology for longitudinal imaging studies in tissues and living animals. Successful analysis of separate cell populations or signaling events by intravital microscopy requires optimal pairing of multiphoton excitation wavelengths with spectrally distinct fluorescent proteins. While prior studies have analyzed two photon absorption properties of isolated fluorescent proteins, there is limited information about two photon excitation and fluorescence emission profiles of fluorescent proteins expressed in living cells and intact tissues. Multiphoton microscopy was used to analyze fluorescence outputs of multiple blue, green, and red fluorescent proteins in cultured cells and orthotopic tumor xenografts of human breast cancer cells. It is shown that commonly used orange and red fluorescent proteins are excited efficiently by 750 to 760 nm laser light in living cells, enabling dual color imaging studies with blue or cyan proteins without changing excitation wavelength. It is also shown that small incremental changes in excitation wavelength significantly affect emission intensities from fluorescent proteins, which can be used to optimize multi-color imaging using a single laser wavelength. These data will direct optimal selection of fluorescent proteins for multispectral two photon microscopy.

  6. Proton transfer and water exchange in the green fluorescent protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agmon, Noam

    2014-03-01

    The green fluorescent protein (GFP) is the only naturally occurring protein in which excited-state proton-transfer has been identified. Upon excitation, a proton is ejected from its chromophore, travelling through the ``privileged water molecule'' (PWM) and Ser205 to Glu222, on a 10 ps timescale or faster. However, time-resolved fluorescence from the chromophore exhibits a t-α power-law decay extending into the ns regime. With increasing temperature, α switches from 1/2 (below 230 K) to 3/2 (above it). This has been interpreted as pseudo one-dimensional proton hopping along an internal ``proton wire,'' with an activated process that opens a ``doorway'' for proton escape to solution at the higher temperatures. To identify such putative pathways, we have developed a computer code mapping all ``proton wires'' within a protein structure. Applying it to a X-ray GFP structure of 0.9 Angstrom resolution, a proton wire indeed continues from Glu222 along the axis of the GFP ``barrel,'' connecting to a negatively charged surface patch (a ``proton collecting antenna''?). This might explain the t- 1 / 2 behavior. However, a direct escape pathway opening from the chromophore to solution is not readily identified in the X-ray structure. Here we report molecular dynamics results showing that the PWM escapes to solution on the 100 ps timescale. This occurs by fluctuations of the beta-sheet, creating an opening through which water molecules can leave and enter the protein. The exact pathway of the PWM on its way in and out has been identified, as well as the water-exchange kinetics that follows a stretched-exponential time behavior. This research was supported by the ISRAEL SCIENCE FOUNDATION grant No. 766/12.

  7. Fluorescent detection of C-reactive protein using polyamide beads

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jagadeesh, Shreesha; Chen, Lu; Aitchison, Stewart

    2016-03-01

    Bacterial infection causes Sepsis which is one of the leading cause of mortality in hospitals. This infection can be quantified from blood plasma using C - reactive protein (CRP). A quick diagnosis at the patient's location through Point-of- Care (POC) testing could give doctors the confidence to prescribe antibiotics. In this paper, the development and testing of a bead-based procedure for CRP quantification is described. The size of the beads enable them to be trapped in wells without the need for magnetic methods of immobilization. Large (1.5 mm diameter) Polyamide nylon beads were used as the substrate for capturing CRP from pure analyte samples. The beads captured CRP either directly through adsorption or indirectly by having specific capture antibodies on their surface. Both methods used fluorescent imaging techniques to quantify the protein. The amount of CRP needed to give a sufficient fluorescent signal through direct capture method was found suitable for identifying bacterial causes of infection. Similarly, viral infections could be quantified by the more sensitive indirect capture method. This bead-based assay can be potentially integrated as a disposable cartridge in a POC device due to its passive nature and the small quantities needed.

  8. Analysis of green fluorescent protein bioluminescence in vivo and in vitro using a glow discharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández, L.; Mandujano, L. A.; Cuevas, J.; Reyes, P. G.; Osorio-González, D.

    2015-03-01

    The discovery of fluorescent proteins has been a revolution in cell biology and related sciences because of their many applications, mainly emphasizing their use as cellular markers. The green fluorescent protein (GFP) is one of the most used as it requires no cofactors to generate fluorescence and retains this property into any organism when it is expressed by recombinant DNA techniques, which is a great advantage. In this work, we analyze the emission spectra of recombinant green fluorescent protein in vivo and in vitro exposed to a glow discharge plasma of nitrogen in order to relate electron temperature to fluorescence intensity.

  9. An engineered chaperonin caging a guest protein: Structural insights and potential as a protein expression tool

    PubMed Central

    Furutani, Masahiro; Hata, Jun-Ichi; Shomura, Yasuhito; Itami, Keisuke; Yoshida, Takao; Izumoto, Yoshitaka; Togi, Akiko; Ideno, Akira; Yasunaga, Takuo; Miki, Kunio; Maruyama, Tadashi

    2005-01-01

    The structure of a chaperonin caging a substrate protein is not quite clear. We made engineered group II chaperonins fused with a guest protein and analyzed their structural and functional features. Thermococcus sp. KS-1 chaperonin α-subunit (TCP) which forms an eightfold symmetric double-ring structure was used. Expression plasmids were constructed which carried two or four TCP genes ligated head to tail in phase and a target protein gene at the 3′ end of the linked TCP genes. Electron microscopy showed that the expressed gene products with the molecular sizes of ~120 kDa (di-TCP) and ~230 kDa (tetra-TCP) formed double-ring complexes similar to those of wild-type TCP. The tetra-TCP retained ATPase activity and its thermostability was significantly higher than that of the wild type. A 260-kDa fusion protein of tetra-TCP and green fluorescent protein (GFP, 27 kDa) was able to form the double-ring complexes with green fluorescence. Image analyses indicated that the GFP moiety of tetra-TCP/GFP fusion protein was accommodated in the central cavity, and tetra-TCP/GFP formed the closed-form similar to that crystallographically resolved in group II chaperonins. Furthermore, it was suggested that caging GFP expanded the cavity around the bottom. Using this tetra-TCP fusion strategy, two virus structural proteins (21–25 kDa) toxic to host cells or two antibody fragments (25–36 kDa) prone to aggregate were well expressed in the soluble fraction of Escherichia coli. These fusion products also assembled to double-ring complexes, suggesting encapsulation of the guest proteins. The antibody fragments liberated by site-specific protease digestion exhibited ligand-binding activities. PMID:15659368

  10. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray characterization of the genetically encoded fluorescent calcium indicator protein GCaMP2

    SciTech Connect

    Rodríguez Guilbe, María M.; Alfaro Malavé, Elisa C.; Akerboom, Jasper; Marvin, Jonathan S.; Looger, Loren L.; Schreiter, Eric R.

    2008-07-01

    The genetically encoded fluorescent calcium-indicator protein GCaMP2 was crystallized in the calcium-saturated form. X-ray diffraction data were collected to 2.0 Å resolution and the structure was solved by molecular replacement. Fluorescent proteins and their engineered variants have played an important role in the study of biology. The genetically encoded calcium-indicator protein GCaMP2 comprises a circularly permuted fluorescent protein coupled to the calcium-binding protein calmodulin and a calmodulin target peptide, M13, derived from the intracellular calmodulin target myosin light-chain kinase and has been used to image calcium transients in vivo. To aid rational efforts to engineer improved variants of GCaMP2, this protein was crystallized in the calcium-saturated form. X-ray diffraction data were collected to 2.0 Å resolution. The crystals belong to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 126.1, b = 47.1, c = 68.8 Å, β = 100.5° and one GCaMP2 molecule in the asymmetric unit. The structure was phased by molecular replacement and refinement is currently under way.