A noncytotoxic DsRed variant for whole-cell labeling

Nat Methods. 2008 Nov;5(11):955-7. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1264. Epub 2008 Oct 26.


A common application of fluorescent proteins is to label whole cells, but many RFPs are cytotoxic when used with standard high-level expression systems. We engineered a rapidly maturing tetrameric fluorescent protein called DsRed-Express2 that has minimal cytotoxicity. DsRed-Express2 exhibits strong and stable expression in bacterial and mammalian cells, and it outperforms other available RFPs with regard to photostability and phototoxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli
  • Humans
  • Luminescent Proteins / analysis*
  • Luminescent Proteins / toxicity
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Staining and Labeling / methods*


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • fluorescent protein 583

Associated data

  • GENBANK/FJ226077
  • GENBANK/FJ226078
  • PDB/2V4E