Fluorescent proteins as a toolkit for in vivo imaging

Trends Biotechnol. 2005 Dec;23(12):605-13. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2005.10.005. Epub 2005 Nov 2.


Green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, and its mutant variants, are the only fully genetically encoded fluorescent probes available and they have proved to be excellent tools for labeling living specimens. Since 1999, numerous GFP homologues have been discovered in Anthozoa, Hydrozoa and Copepoda species, demonstrating the broad evolutionary and spectral diversity of this protein family. Mutagenic studies gave rise to diversified and optimized variants of fluorescent proteins, which have never been encountered in nature. This article gives an overview of the GFP-like proteins developed to date and their most common applications to study living specimens using fluorescence microscopy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques / methods
  • Color
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer
  • Gene Expression
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / analysis
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Luminescent Proteins / analysis
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics*
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Biology / methods*
  • Photochemistry / methods
  • Protein Interaction Mapping / methods
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / analysis
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • green fluorescent protein, Aequorea victoria
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins