skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Structure of the red fluorescent protein from a lancelet (Branchiostoma lanceolatum): a novel GYG chromophore covalently bound to a nearby tyrosine

The crystal structure of the novel red emitting fluorescent protein from lancelet Branchiostoma lanceolatum (Chordata) revealed an unusual five residues cyclic unit comprising Gly58-Tyr59-Gly60 chromophore, the following Phe61 and Tyr62 covalently bound to chromophore Tyr59. A key property of proteins of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) family is their ability to form a chromophore group by post-translational modifications of internal amino acids, e.g. Ser65-Tyr66-Gly67 in GFP from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria (Cnidaria). Numerous structural studies have demonstrated that the green GFP-like chromophore represents the ‘core’ structure, which can be extended in red-shifted proteins owing to modifications of the protein backbone at the first chromophore-forming position. Here, the three-dimensional structures of green laGFP (λ{sub ex}/λ{sub em} = 502/511 nm) and red laRFP (λ{sub ex}/λ{sub em} ≃ 521/592 nm), which are fluorescent proteins (FPs) from the lancelet Branchiostoma lanceolatum (Chordata), were determined together with the structure of a red variant laRFP-ΔS83 (deletion of Ser83) with improved folding. Lancelet FPs are evolutionarily distant and share only ∼20% sequence identity with cnidarian FPs, which have been extensively characterized and widely used as genetically encoded probes. The structure of red-emitting laRFP revealed three exceptional features that have not been observed in wild-type fluorescent proteins frommore » Cnidaria reported to date: (i) an unusual chromophore-forming sequence Gly58-Tyr59-Gly60, (ii) the presence of Gln211 at the position of the conserved catalytic Glu (Glu222 in Aequorea GFP), which proved to be crucial for chromophore formation, and (iii) the absence of modifications typical of known red chromophores and the presence of an extremely unusual covalent bond between the Tyr59 C{sup β} atom and the hydroxyl of the proximal Tyr62. The impact of this covalent bond on the red emission and the large Stokes shift (∼70 nm) of laRFP was verified by extensive structure-based site-directed mutagenesis.« less
; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russian Federation)
  2. National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD 21702 (United States)
  3. National Cancer Institute, Argonne, IL 60439 (United States)
  4. (United States)
  5. (Russian Federation)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Acta Crystallographica. Section D: Biological Crystallography; Journal Volume: 69; Journal Issue: Pt 9; Other Information: PMCID: PMC3760133; PMID: 23999308; PUBLISHER-ID: lv5043; OAI:; Copyright (c) International Union of Crystallography 2013; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication: