The fluorescent protein iLOV outperforms eGFP as a reporter gene in the microaerophilic protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis

Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2017 Sep:216:1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2017.06.003. Epub 2017 Jun 9.


Trichomonas vaginalis is a flagellated protozoan causing a notorious urogenital infection in humans. Due to its anaerobic metabolism, an alternative fluorescent protein that can be readily expressed in oxygen-deprived conditions is ideal. This study assessed the performance of iLOV, which does not require oxygen to function, as compared to the conventional enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) in T. vaginalis. The results indicated that iLOV outperforms eGFP in both transient and stable expression, being detectable earlier and producing higher fluorescent intensity than eGFP in T. vaginalis. This finding facilitates forthcoming genetic studies that will advance the knowledge on this human parasitic infection.

Keywords: Anaerobic protist; Fluorescent protein; Trichomonas vaginalis; eGFP; iLOV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression*
  • Genes, Reporter*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics*
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Transfection
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / genetics*


  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • enhanced green fluorescent protein
  • oxygen-regulated proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins