A FRET-facilitated photoswitching using an orange fluorescent protein with the fast photoconversion kinetics.J Am Chem Soc 2012; 134(36):14789-99JA
Fluorescent proteins photoswitchable with noncytotoxic light irradiation and spectrally distinct from multiple available photoconvertible green-to-red probes are in high demand. We have developed a monomeric fluorescent protein, called PSmOrange2, which is photoswitchable with blue light from an orange (ex./em. at 546 nm/561 nm) to a far-red (ex./em. at 619 nm/651 nm) form. Compared to another orange-to-far-red photoconvertable variant, PSmOrange2 has blue-shifted photoswitching action spectrum, 9-fold higher photoconversion contrast, and up to 10-fold faster photoswitching kinetics. This results in the 4-fold more PSmOrange2 molecules being photoconverted in mammalian cells. Compared to common orange fluorescent proteins, such as mOrange, the orange form of PSmOrange has substantially higher photostability allowing its use in multicolor imaging applications to track dynamics of multiple populations of intracellular objects. The PSmOrange2 photochemical properties allow its efficient photoswitching with common two-photon lasers and, moreover, via Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) from green fluorescent donors. We have termed the latter effect a FRET-facilitated photoswitching and demonstrated it using several sets of interacting proteins. The enhanced photoswitching properties of PSmOrange2 make it a superior photoconvertable protein tag for flow cytometry, conventional microscopy, and two-photon imaging of live cells.