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      A variant of yellow fluorescent protein with fast and efficient maturation for cell-biological applications.

      Nature biotechnology

      Transfection, Animals, Time Factors, Scyphozoa, Rats, PC12 Cells, Mutation, Mutagenesis, Microscopy, Confocal, Mice, metabolism, genetics, Luminescent Proteins, Kinetics, Genetic Vectors, Genetic Techniques, Gene Transfer Techniques, Cerebellum, Bacterial Proteins

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          Abstract

          The green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria has provided a myriad of applications for biological systems. Over the last several years, mutagenesis studies have improved folding properties of GFP (refs 1,2). However, slow maturation is still a big obstacle to the use of GFP variants for visualization. These problems are exacerbated when GFP variants are expressed at 37 degrees C and/or targeted to certain organelles. Thus, obtaining GFP variants that mature more efficiently is crucial for the development of expanded research applications. Among Aequorea GFP variants, yellow fluorescent proteins (YFPs) are relatively acid-sensitive, and uniquely quenched by chloride ion (Cl-). For YFP to be fully and stably fluorescent, mutations that decrease the sensitivity to both pH and Cl- are desired. Here we describe the development of an improved version of YFP named "Venus". Venus contains a novel mutation, F46L, which at 37 degrees C greatly accelerates oxidation of the chromophore, the rate-limiting step of maturation. As a result of other mutations, F64L/M153T/V163A/S175G, Venus folds well and is relatively tolerant of exposure to acidosis and Cl-. We succeeded in efficiently targeting a neuropeptide Y-Venus fusion protein to the dense-core granules of PC12 cells. Its secretion was readily monitored by measuring release of fluorescence into the medium. The use of Venus as an acceptor allowed early detection of reliable signals of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) for Ca2+ measurements in brain slices. With the improved speed and efficiency of maturation and the increased resistance to environment, Venus will enable fluorescent labelings that were not possible before.

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          Most cited references 15

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          The green fluorescent protein.

          In just three years, the green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria has vaulted from obscurity to become one of the most widely studied and exploited proteins in biochemistry and cell biology. Its amazing ability to generate a highly visible, efficiently emitting internal fluorophore is both intrinsically fascinating and tremendously valuable. High-resolution crystal structures of GFP offer unprecedented opportunities to understand and manipulate the relation between protein structure and spectroscopic function. GFP has become well established as a marker of gene expression and protein targeting in intact cells and organisms. Mutagenesis and engineering of GFP into chimeric proteins are opening new vistas in physiological indicators, biosensors, and photochemical memories.
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            Fluorescent indicators for Ca2+ based on green fluorescent proteins and calmodulin.

            Important Ca2+ signals in the cytosol and organelles are often extremely localized and hard to measure. To overcome this problem we have constructed new fluorescent indicators for Ca2+ that are genetically encoded without cofactors and are targetable to specific intracellular locations. We have dubbed these fluorescent indicators 'cameleons'. They consist of tandem fusions of a blue- or cyan-emitting mutant of the green fluorescent protein (GFP), calmodulin, the calmodulin-binding peptide M13, and an enhanced green- or yellow-emitting GFP. Binding of Ca2+ makes calmodulin wrap around the M13 domain, increasing the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between the flanking GFPs. Calmodulin mutations can tune the Ca2+ affinities to measure free Ca2+ concentrations in the range 10(-8) to 10(-2) M. We have visualized free Ca2+ dynamics in the cytosol, nucleus and endoplasmic reticulum of single HeLa cells transfected with complementary DNAs encoding chimaeras bearing appropriate localization signals. Ca2+ concentration in the endoplasmic reticulum of individual cells ranged from 60 to 400 microM at rest, and 1 to 50 microM after Ca2+ mobilization. FRET is also an indicator of the reversible intermolecular association of cyan-GFP-labelled calmodulin with yellow-GFP-labelled M13. Thus FRET between GFP mutants can monitor localized Ca2+ signals and protein heterodimerization in individual live cells.
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              Reducing the environmental sensitivity of yellow fluorescent protein. Mechanism and applications.

              Yellow mutants of the green fluorescent protein (YFP) are crucial constituents of genetically encoded indicators of signal transduction and fusions to monitor protein-protein interactions. However, previous YFPs show excessive pH sensitivity, chloride interference, poor photostability, or poor expression at 37 degrees C. Protein evolution in Escherichia coli has produced a new YFP named Citrine, in which the mutation Q69M confers a much lower pK(a) (5.7) than for previous YFPs, indifference to chloride, twice the photostability of previous YFPs, and much better expression at 37 degrees C and in organelles. The halide resistance is explained by a 2.2-A x-ray crystal structure of Citrine, showing that the methionine side chain fills what was once a large halide-binding cavity adjacent to the chromophore. Insertion of calmodulin within Citrine or fusion of cyan fluorescent protein, calmodulin, a calmodulin-binding peptide and Citrine has generated improved calcium indicators. These chimeras can be targeted to multiple cellular locations and have permitted the first single-cell imaging of free [Ca(2+)] in the Golgi. Citrine is superior to all previous YFPs except when pH or halide sensitivity is desired and is particularly advantageous within genetically encoded fluorescent indicators of physiological signals.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                11753368
                10.1038/nbt0102-87

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