National Center for
2OTE: Crystal Structure Of A Monomeric Cyan Fluorescent Protein In The Photobleached State
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. (2007) 104 p.6672-6677
Fluorescent protein (FP) variants that can be reversibly converted between fluorescent and nonfluorescent states have proven to be a catalyst for innovation in the field of fluorescence microscopy. However, the structural basis of the process remains poorly understood. High-resolution structures of a FP derived from Clavularia in both the fluorescent and the light-induced nonfluorescent states reveal that the rapid and complete loss of fluorescence observed upon illumination with 450-nm light results from cis-trans isomerization of the chromophore. The photoinduced change in configuration from the well ordered cis isomer to the highly nonplanar and disordered trans isomer is accompanied by a dramatic rearrangement of internal side chains. Taken together, the structures provide an explanation for the loss of fluorescence upon illumination, the slow light-independent recovery, and the rapid light-induced recovery of fluorescence. The fundamental mechanism appears to be common to all of the photoactivatable and reversibly photoswitchable FPs reported to date.