Bright cyan fluorescent protein variants identified by fluorescence lifetime screening

Nat Methods. 2010 Feb;7(2):137-9. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1415. Epub 2010 Jan 17.


Optimization of autofluorescent proteins by intensity-based screening of bacteria does not necessarily identify the brightest variant for eukaryotes. We report a strategy to screen excited state lifetimes, which identified cyan fluorescent proteins with long fluorescence lifetimes (>3.7 ns) and high quantum yields (>0.8). One variant, mTurquoise, was 1.5-fold brighter than mCerulean in mammalian cells and decayed mono-exponentially, making it an excellent fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) donor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins / analysis
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry*
  • Bacterial Proteins / classification*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / analysis
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / chemistry*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / classification*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein / methods*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cyan Fluorescent Protein
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins