Fluorescent reporter proteins such as green fluorescent protein are valuable noninvasive molecular tools for in vivo real-time imaging of living specimens. However, their use is generally restricted to aerobic systems, as the formation of their chromophores strictly requires oxygen. Starting with blue-light photoreceptors from Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas putida that contain light-oxygen-voltage–sensing domains, we engineered flavin mononucleotide–based fluorescent proteins that can be used as fluorescent reporters in both aerobic and anaerobic biological systems.
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The authors would like to thank Jürgen Hubbuch and Thomas Rosenbaum, Institute of Biotechnology 2, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, for their assistance with confocal laser scanning microscopy. This work was partly supported by grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within the Forschergruppe FOR526 “Sensory blue light photoreceptors.”
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Drepper, T., Eggert, T., Circolone, F. et al. Reporter proteins for in vivo fluorescence without oxygen. Nat Biotechnol 25, 443–445 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt1293
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