Russian Journal of Bioorganic Chemistry, Vol. 29, No. 4, 2003, đ . 325

A Natural Fluorescent Protein That Changes Its Fluorescence Color during Maturation

Yu. G. Yanushevich*, N.G. Gurskaya*, D. B. Staroverov**, S. A. Lukyanov*, and K. A. Lukyanov* , 1

*Shemyakin-–Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry , Russian Academy of Sciences , ul. Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10, GSP Moscow , 117997 Russia , **ZAO Evrogen, Moscow , Russia

Abstract: The gene of a new red fluorescent protein zoan2RFP from coral polyp Zoanthus sp., a homologue of the known green fluorescent protein from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, was cloned. At early stages of maturation, zoan2RFP exhibits green fluorescence, which then turns to the red one. A similar phenomenon was recently reported for the E5 mutant of the red fluorescent coral protein DsRed. Zoan2RFP differs from E5 by faster maturation kinetics and the complete disappearance of green fluorescence in the mature protein. Naturally occurring proteins of this type can be considered as intermediate forms between the green and red fluorescent proteins, which are formed during the microevolution of fluorescent proteins.

Key words: drFP583, GFP, DsRed, fluorescent timer, fluorescent labeling, maturation kinetics