The fluorescent protein palette: tools for cellular imaging

Chem Soc Rev. 2009 Oct;38(10):2887-921. doi: 10.1039/b901966a. Epub 2009 Aug 4.


This critical review provides an overview of the continually expanding family of fluorescent proteins (FPs) that have become essential tools for studies of cell biology and physiology. Here, we describe the characteristics of the genetically encoded fluorescent markers that now span the visible spectrum from deep blue to deep red. We identify some of the novel FPs that have unusual characteristics that make them useful reporters of the dynamic behaviors of proteins inside cells, and describe how many different optical methods can be combined with the FPs to provide quantitative measurements in living systems (227 references).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques / methods
  • Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching
  • Fluorescent Dyes*
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Optics and Photonics / methods*
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Interaction Mapping / methods*


  • Fluorescent Dyes