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Monomeric Garnet, a far-red fluorescent protein for live-cell STED imaging.

Scientific reports (2015-12-10)
Anika Hense, Benedikt Prunsche, Peng Gao, Yuji Ishitsuka, Karin Nienhaus, G Ulrich Nienhaus
ABSTRACT

The advancement of far-red emitting variants of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) is crucially important for imaging live cells, tissues and organisms. Despite notable efforts, far-red marker proteins still need further optimization to match the performance of their green counterparts. Here we present mGarnet, a robust monomeric marker protein with far-red fluorescence peaking at 670 nm. Thanks to its large extinction coefficient of 95,000 M(-1)cm(-1), mGarnet can be efficiently excited with 640-nm light on the red edge of its 598-nm excitation band. A large Stokes shift allows essentially the entire fluorescence emission to be collected even with 640-nm excitation, counterbalancing the lower fluorescence quantum yield of mGarnet, 9.1%, that is typical of far-red FPs. We demonstrate an excellent performance as a live-cell fusion marker in STED microscopy, using 640 nm excitation and 780 nm depletion wavelengths.

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