Green fluorescent proteins are light-induced electron donors

Nat Chem Biol. 2009 Jul;5(7):459-61. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.174.


Proteins of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) family are well known owing to their unique biochemistry and extensive use as in vivo markers. We discovered that GFPs of diverse origins can act as light-induced electron donors in photochemical reactions with various electron acceptors, including biologically relevant ones. Moreover, via green-to-red GFP photoconversion, this process can be observed in living cells without additional treatment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • Electron Transport
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / chemistry*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / radiation effects
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Light*
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Photochemical Processes


  • Green Fluorescent Proteins

Associated data

  • PubChem-Substance/57551963
  • PubChem-Substance/57551964
  • PubChem-Substance/57551965
  • PubChem-Substance/57551966
  • PubChem-Substance/57551967
  • PubChem-Substance/57551968
  • PubChem-Substance/57551969
  • PubChem-Substance/57551970