International Journal of Molecular Sciences
LSSmScarlet, dCyRFP2s, dCyOFP2s and CRISPRed2s, Genetically Encoded Red Fluorescent Proteins with a Large Stokes Shift
Subach, O. M., Vlaskina, A. V., Agapova, Y. K., Dorovatovskii, P. V., Nikolaeva, A. Y., Ivashkina, O. I., ... & Subach, F. V.
genetically encoded red fluorescent proteins, protein engineering, fluorescence imaging, large Stokes shift, LSSmScarlet, dCyRFP2s, dCyOFP2s, CRISPRed2s, red fluorescent, fluorescent protein
Genetically encoded red fluorescent proteins with a large Stokes shift (LSSRFPs) can be efficiently co-excited with common green FPs both under single- and two-photon microscopy, thus enabling dual-color imaging using a single laser. Recent progress in protein development resulted in a great variety of novel LSSRFPs; however, the selection of the right LSSRFP for a given application is hampered by the lack of a side-by-side comparison of the LSSRFPs’ performance. In this study, we employed rational design and random mutagenesis to convert conventional bright RFP mScarlet into LSSRFP, called LSSmScarlet, characterized by excitation/emission maxima at 470/598 nm. In addition, we utilized the previously reported LSSRFPs mCyRFP1, CyOFP1, and mCRISPRed as templates for directed molecular evolution to develop their optimized versions, called dCyRFP2s, dCyOFP2s and CRISPRed2s. We performed a quantitative assessment of the developed LSSRFPs and their precursors in vitro on purified proteins and compared their brightness at 488 nm excitation in the mammalian cells. The monomeric LSSmScarlet protein was successfully utilized for the confocal imaging of the structural proteins in live mammalian cells and multicolor confocal imaging in conjugation with other FPs. LSSmScarlet was successfully applied for dual-color two-photon imaging in live mammalian cells. We also solved the X-ray structure of the LSSmScarlet protein at the resolution of 1.4 Å that revealed a hydrogen bond network supporting excited-state proton transfer (ESPT). Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics molecular dynamic simulations confirmed the ESPT mechanism of a large Stokes shift. Structure-guided mutagenesis revealed the role of R198 residue in ESPT that allowed us to generate a variant with improved pH stability. Finally, we showed that LSSmScarlet protein is not appropriate for STED microscopy as a consequence of LSSRed-to-Red photoconversion with high-power 775 nm depletion light. View Full-Text