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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2013 Aug;17(4):682-90. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2013.05.031. Epub 2013 Jul 19.

Photoswitchable fluorescent proteins: ten years of colorful chemistry and exciting applications.

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1
Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Mailcode 5164, Stanford, CA 94305, United States.

Abstract

Reversibly photoswitchable fluorescent proteins (RSFPs) are fluorescent proteins whose fluorescence, upon excitation at a certain wavelength, can be switched on or off by light in a reversible manner. In the last 10 years, many new RSFPs have been developed and novel applications in cell imaging discovered that rely on their photoswitching properties. This review will describe research on the mechanisms of reversible photoswitching and recent applications using RSFPs. While cis-trans isomerization of the chromophore is believed to be the general mechanism for most RSFPs, structural studies reveal diversity in the details of photoswitching mechanisms, including different effects of protonation, chromophore planarity, and pocket flexibility. Applications of RSFPs include new types of live-cell superresolution imaging, tracking of protein movements and interactions, information storage, and optical control of protein activity.

PMID:
23876529
PMCID:
PMC3771498
DOI:
10.1016/j.cbpa.2013.05.031
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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