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Mol Biosyst. 2012 Aug;8(8):2036-40. doi: 10.1039/c2mb25130b. Epub 2012 Jun 12.

Split-superpositive GFP reassembly is a fast, efficient, and robust method for detecting protein-protein interactions in vivo.

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Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.


Split-GFP reassembly is an operationally simple in vivo technique used to identify and study interactions involving proteins and/or peptides. However, the instability of split-GFP fragments and their susceptibility to aggregation place limitations on the broader use of split-GFP reassembly. Supercharged proteins, including supercharged GFP, are variants with high theoretical negative or positive charge that are resistant to aggregation. We show that a split-superpositive GFP (split-spGFP) variant reassembles faster and more efficiently than previously reported split-sg100 GFP and split-folding-reporter GFP (split-frGFP) systems. In addition, interaction-dependent split-spGFP reassembly is efficient at physiological temperature. The increased efficiency and robustness of split-spGFP reassembly make this reporter system ideal for identifying and studying interactions involving proteins and/or peptides in vivo, and may be particularly useful for identifying or studying interactions involving proteins or peptides that are themselves susceptible to aggregation.

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