A bright monomeric green fluorescent protein derived from Branchiostoma lanceolatum

Journal name:
Nature Methods
Year published:
Published online

We report a monomeric yellow-green fluorescent protein, mNeonGreen, derived from a tetrameric fluorescent protein from the cephalochordate Branchiostoma lanceolatum. mNeonGreen is the brightest monomeric green or yellow fluorescent protein yet described to our knowledge, performs exceptionally well as a fusion tag for traditional imaging as well as stochastic single-molecule superresolution imaging and is an excellent fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) acceptor for the newest cyan fluorescent proteins.


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Author information


  1. Department of Photobiology and Bioimaging, The Scintillon Institute, San Diego, California, USA.

    • Nathan C Shaner,
    • Gerard G Lambert &
    • Jiwu Wang
  2. Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Inc., San Diego, California, USA.

    • Nathan C Shaner,
    • Andrew Chammas,
    • Yuhui Ni &
    • Jiwu Wang
  3. National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA.

    • Paula J Cranfill,
    • Michelle A Baird,
    • Brittney R Sell,
    • John R Allen &
    • Michael W Davidson
  4. Department of Biological Science, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA.

    • Paula J Cranfill,
    • Michelle A Baird,
    • Brittney R Sell,
    • John R Allen &
    • Michael W Davidson
  5. Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

    • Richard N Day
  6. Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

    • Maria Israelsson


M.I. cloned the original gene encoding LanYFP from B. lanceolatum, performed initial characterization of the protein, and identified the substitutions I118K (dimerizing) and N174T (folding enhancement). G.G.L. performed the majority of library construction, E. coli expression experiments, and protein purification. A.C., J.W. and Y.N. performed initial cloning and library construction for screening dimeric variants. R.N.D. performed FLIM-FRET experiments. J.R.A. performed single-molecule superresolution imaging experiments. M.W.D., P.J.C., M.A.B. and B.R.S. constructed mammalian expression and fusion plasmids, performed fixed- and live-cell imaging and FRET experiments, and helped write the manuscript. J.W. contributed to writing and editing the manuscript and supported the project. N.C.S. designed and planned the project, performed library design and screening, optical characterization and size-exclusion experiments, and wrote the manuscript.

Competing financial interests

M.I. is affiliated with Innoventus (Uppsala, Sweden), which administers patent licensing for the original LanYFP clone. N.C.S., A.C., Y.N. and J.W. are affiliated with Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which holds an exclusive license to LanYFP from Innoventus. Allele has filed for patent protection of mNeonGreen. The Scintillon Institute is a nonprofit research institute funded in part by Allele.

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Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. Supplementary Text and Figures (44 MB)

    Supplementary Figures 1–16, Supplementary Tables 1–3, Supplementary Discussion

Text files

  1. Supplementary Data 1 (635 KB)

    PDB structure file of I-TASSER and RosettaDock generated model of LanYFP A/B dimer.

  2. Supplementary Data 2 (635 KB)

    PDB structure file of I-TASSER and RosettaDock generated model of LanYFP A/C dimer.

Excel files

  1. Supplementary Table 4 (20 KB)

    Primers used in this study.

Additional data