Medical Definition of Green fluorescent protein

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Green fluorescent protein: Abbreviated GFP. A protein that glows green under fluorescent light. Found naturally in the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, GFP fluoresces green when exposed to blue light. It has a sequence of three amino acids (serine-tyrosine-glycine) which is responsible for its fluorescence.

GFP has been much used in molecular and cell biology research as:

  • A reporter of gene expression -- The expression of a gene can be monitored in cells by linking the control sequences for a gene to the GFP structural gene, which serves as a reporter.
  • A protein tag -- The GFP structural gene is fused to another gene, producing a fusion protein that is tagged by GFP. The location of this tagged gene can be seen within living cells.

Thus, the fluorescence produced by GFP can serve to reveal where a particular protein is expressed and to monitor protein-protein interactions.

CONTINUE SCROLLING OR CLICK HERE FOR RELATED ARTICLE
Reviewed on 12/21/2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors