Engineering and characterization of an enhanced fluorescent protein voltage sensor

PLoS One. 2007 May 9;2(5):e440. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000440.


Background: Fluorescent proteins have been used to generate a variety of biosensors to optically monitor biological phenomena in living cells. Among this class of genetically encoded biosensors, reporters for membrane potential have been a particular challenge. The use of presently known voltage sensor proteins is limited by incorrect subcellular localization and small or absent voltage responses in mammalian cells.

Results: Here we report on a fluorescent protein voltage sensor with superior targeting to the mammalian plasma membrane and high responsiveness to membrane potential signaling in excitable cells.

Conclusions and significance: This biosensor, which we termed VSFP2.1, is likely to lead to new methods of monitoring electrically active cells with cell type specificity, non-invasively and in large numbers, simultaneously.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • DNA Primers
  • Fluorescence
  • PC12 Cells
  • Protein Engineering*
  • Rats
  • Signal Transduction


  • DNA Primers