Fluorescent Proteins: Theory, Applications and Best Practices

In this article, the history and development of FPs is discussed, along with what they are and how they work

Fluorescent Proteins: Theory, Applications and Best Practices

By Semrock

 

Hank Hogan, Prashant Prabhat, Ph.D., Turan Erdogan, Ph.D.

 

First identified in 1962 in sea creatures, fluorescent proteins have proved versatile and extremely useful, as demonstrated by applications they either enable or significantly benefit. The list includes live cell imaging, multicolor gene expression imaging, and flow cytometry, along with an array of biosensors and optical highlighters.

Indeed, fluorescent proteins – or FPs – have turned out to be fundamentally important to science. In 2008, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded jointly to Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie, and Roger Tsien for their work on the first fluorescent protein, or, in the words of the Nobel Committee, “the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP.” 

Where once there was a single fluorescent protein, now there are dozens. They differ in spectral characteristics, environmental sensitivity, photostability, maturation time, and other parameters. In this article, the history and development of FPs is discussed, along with what they are and how they work. Applications of fluorescent proteins are covered, as are considerations for application success. Also covered are some considerations for the optical systems used to view FPs, such as the effects of...

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