What is it about?

We have succeeded in engineering fluorescent proteins emitting green light (GFPs) into those emitting red light (RFPs). This engineering revealed the amino acids and their steric configuration essential for forming the RFP's fluorophore (glowing part). Specifically, we found in the developed RFP a pocket, which we believe accommodates the oxygen molecule necessary for RFP fluorophore formation.

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Why is it important?

The glowing parts of fluorescent proteins form on their own, but it's unclear which specific amino acid arrangements cause this unique reaction. This research will be crucial to understanding how these self-forming reactions work in fluorescent proteins. Additionally, our study reveals that tweaking GFP could be a novel way to create new RFPs.

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This page is a summary of: Red fluorescent proteins engineered from green fluorescent proteins, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2307687120.
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