A Green Fluorescent Protein with Photoswitchable Emission from the Deep Sea
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A colorful variety of fluorescent proteins (FPs) from marine invertebrates are utilized as genetically encoded markers for live cell imaging. The increased demand for advanced imaging techniques drives a continuous search for FPs with new and improved properties. Many useful FPs have been isolated from species adapted to sun-flooded habitats such as tropical coral reefs. It has yet remained unknown if species expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like proteins also exist in the darkness of the deep sea. Using a submarine-based and -operated fluorescence detection system in the Gulf of Mexico, we discovered ceriantharians emitting bright green fluorescence in depths between 500 and 600 m and identified a GFP, named cerFP505, with bright fluorescence emission peaking at 505 nm. Spectroscopic studies showed that ~15% of the protein bulk feature reversible ON/OFF photoswitching that can be induced by alternating irradiation with blue und near-UV light. Despite being derived from an animal adapted to essentially complete darkness and low temperatures, cerFP505 maturation in living mammalian cells at 37°C, its brightness and photostability are comparable to those of EGFP and cmFP512 from shallow water species. Therefore, our findings disclose the deep sea as a potential source of GFP-like molecular marker proteins.
Alexander Vogt is with University of Ulm, Cecilia D'Angelo is with University of Ulm, Franz Oswald is with University of Ulm, Andrea Denzel is with University of Ulm, Charles H. Mazel is with NightSea, Mikhail V. Matz is with UT Austin, Sergey Ivanchenko is with University of Ulm, G. Ulrich Nienhaus is with University of Ulm and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Jörg Wiedenmann is with University of Ulm and University of Southampton.
CitationVogt A, D'Angelo C, Oswald F, Denzel A, Mazel CH, et al. (2008) A Green Fluorescent Protein with Photoswitchable Emission from the Deep Sea. PLoS ONE 3(11): e3766. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003766
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