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Fluorescent proteins from nonbioluminescent Anthozoa species

An Erratum to this article was published on 01 December 1999


We have cloned six fluorescent proteins homologous to the green fluorescent protein (GFP) from Aequorea victoria. Two of these have spectral characteristics dramatically different from GFP, emitting at yellow and red wavelengths. All the proteins were isolated from nonbioluminescent reef corals, demonstrating that GFP-like proteins are not always functionally linked to bioluminescence. The new proteins share the same β-can fold first observed in GFP, and this provided a basis for the comparative analysis of structural features important for fluorescence. The usefulness of the new proteins for in vivo labeling was demonstrated by expressing them in mammalian cell culture and in mRNA microinjection assays in Xenopus embryos.

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Figure 1: (A) Multiple alignment of fluorescent proteins.
Figure 2: The absorption (solid lines) and emission (dotted lines) spectra for the identified proteins (as determined for the recombinant products of expression in E. coli).
Figure 3: Schematic outline of the fluorophore environment in GFP and its putative variations in new Anthozoa proteins.
Figure 4: Results of synthetic mRNA microinjection assay.


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We are especially grateful to Andrey Roman'ko, who generously provided the necessary animals from his unique private collection. We thank Dr. Li Ding of Clontech for technical support, and Dr. Andrey Osterman and Dr. Nick Grishin for their critical comments on the manuscript. We also thank Tamara Matz and David Gunn of Clontech for their help in manuscript preparation. This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research, Clontech Laboratories, and the INTAS-RFBR grant to A.G.Z.

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Correspondence to Sergey A. Lukyanov.

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Matz, M., Fradkov, A., Labas, Y. et al. Fluorescent proteins from nonbioluminescent Anthozoa species. Nat Biotechnol 17, 969–973 (1999).

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