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Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) Toolbox

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Nobel Prize awarded for GFP

Our congratulations to the scientists who won the Nobel Prize for their work on Green Fluorescent Protein. Here is what each one contributed to receive the prize:

Osamu Shimomura first isolated GFP from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, which drifts with the currents off the west coast of North America. He discovered that this protein glowed bright green under ultraviolet light.

Martin Chalfie demonstrated the value of GFP as a luminous genetic tag for various biological phenomena. In one of his first experiments, he coloured six individual cells in the transparent roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans with the aid of GFP.

Roger Y. Tsien contributed to our general understanding of how GFP fluoresces. He also extended the colour palette beyond green allowing researchers to give various proteins and cells different colours. This enables scientists to follow several different biological processes at the same time.

Unfortunately, Douglas Prasher, a researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in
Massachusetts who originally isolated the gene for GFP, was not one of the Nobel recipients. Prasher freely gave the gene sequence for GFP to both Roger Tsien and Martin Chaflie. Doug Prasher's scientific colleagues at LANL would like to acknowledge Prasher for his embodiment of the concept of pure scientific collaboration.

LANL Overview

Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) has been around for many years and has been used in a lot of creative ways. Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher Dr. Geoff Waldo, has spent the last decade improving the flexibility, usability, reliability and sensitivity of GFP by engineering it to have more desirable characteristics. His work has resulted in a GFP that fluoresces more brightly, does not perturb the protein of interest, and works reliably in a number of important scientific applications. Not only does it perform better than other tags, but it is faster and cheaper!

To learn more about a particular application, read more details below:

Quantify the expression level of a target protein

Determine a target protein’s solubility

Discover which domains of a protein are soluble

Evaluate how a protein interacts with other proteins (protein-protein interaction)

Reveal the effect of a small molecule on the protein’s folding

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