For deep imaging of animal tissues, the optical window favorable for light penetration is in near-infrared wavelengths, which requires proteins with emission spectra in the far-red wavelengths. In the 4th issue of Nature Methods, the journal that publish significant improvements to tried-and-tested techniques in the life sciences, Dmitry Shcherbo and colleagues from Moscow University, report a far-red fluorescent protein, named Katushka, which is brighter compared to the spectrally close HcRed or mPlum, and is characterized by fast maturation as well as a high pH-stability and photostability.
These unique characteristics should make Katushka a good reporter for visualization in living tissues. A monomeric version of Katushka, named mKate, was also generated: mKate is characterized by high brightness and photostability, and should be an excellent fluorescent label for protein tagging in the far-red part of the spectrum.
This is a very small blog advocating the advantages of genetically encoded approaches in the study of biomolecular processes. This site is not affiliated with any company, and the "blogger in chief" is an Italian postdoc working with nuclear receptors in European academic settings. You can read more about reportergene's philosophy or enjoy a cartoon illustrating how the blogger plays with luciferases and fluorescent proteins to better understand life from a molecular point of view.
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