Navigation Links
Behind a marine creature's bright green fluorescent glow
Date:7/1/2014

Pushing closer to understanding the mechanisms behind the mysterious glow of light produced naturally by certain animals, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have deciphered the structural components related to fluorescence brightness in a primitive sea creature.

In a study published in Scientific Reports, an open-access journal of the Nature Publishing Group, Dimitri Deheyn and his colleagues at Scripps Oceanography, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have conducted the most detailed examination of green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) in lancelets, marine invertebrates also known as "amphioxus." The fish-shaped animals, which spend much of their time in shallow coastal regions burrowed in sand except for their heads, offer unique insights on natural fluorescence since individual specimens can emit both very bright and much dimmer versions of the light, a rare capability in the animal kingdom.

The study carries implications for a variety of industries looking to maximize brightness of natural fluorescencethe process of transformation of blue "excitation" light into green "emission" lightincluding applications in biotechnology such as adapting fluorescence for biomedical protein tracers and for tracking the expression of specific genes in the human body.

In investigating the structural differences between the proteins with the two levels of light output, known to be generated by the GFPs inside amphioxus, Deheyn and his colleagues found that only a few key structural differences at the nanoscale allows the sea creature to emit different brightness levels. The differences relate to changes in stiffness around the animal's "chromophore pocket," the area of proteins responsible for molecular transformation of light, and thus light output intensity.

"We discovered that some of the amphioxus GFPs are able to transform blue light into green light with 100 percent efficiency (current engineered GFPstraditionally rooted in the Cnidarian phylumonly reach 60 to 80 percent efficiency), which combines with other properties of light absorbance to make the amphioxus GFPs about five times brighter than current commercially available GFPs, resulting in effect to a huge difference," said Deheyn. "It is also interesting that the same animal will also express similar GFPs with an efficiency of about 1,000 times less."

The exact mechanism that controls this ability of perfect efficiency during light transformation from blue to green remains unknown, Deheyn said, but this study opens doors towards its understanding.

"The most unique part of this discovery perhaps lays in the fact that for the first time, we show that different GFPs seem to have different functions within the same individual and unrelated to their ability to produce light, thus probably involving a biochemical role as well," said Deheyn. "Nevertheless, having bright GFPs or the tool to increase brightness in current ones is critical for optimizing applications of fluorescence."

Amphioxus are thought to use fluorescence for photo-protection (thus acting as sunscreen), as an antioxidant, and possibly for photo-sensing (using GFPs as receptors to the surrounding light) in their environment. Deheyn says learning more about bright-emitting GFPs in nature is useful for a variety of applications and fields of science.

"The U.S. Air Force, and the Department of Defense in general, uses a large variety of biosensors in biomedicine, bioengineering, and materials science, and providing proteins with the ability to be very bright can help technology advance because of better signal-to-noise ratio."


'/>"/>

Contact: Mario Aguilera or Robert Monroe
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu
858-534-3624
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New insight into mechanisms behind autoimmune diseases suggests a potential therapy
2. Culprit behind unchecked angiogenesis identified
3. Nowhere to hide: New device sees bacteria behind the eardrum
4. New report puts real numbers behind history of oyster reefs
5. Delving into the molecular mechanism behind deep-sea bacterias pressure tolerance
6. U OF A expert pinpoints nutrient behind fresh water algae blooms
7. Researchers describe new molecular interactions behind the inhibition of TGF beta-signaling
8. Behind closed doors: Researchers show how probiotics boost plant immunity
9. Researchers discover 2 genetic flaws behind common form of inherited muscular dystrophy
10. Scientists sniff out the substances behind the aroma in the king of fruits
11. Researchers find new genetic pathway behind neurodevelopmental disorders
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/7/2017)... March 7, 2017 Brandwatch , the leading social ... The Prince,s Trust to uncover insights to support its reporting, ... The UK,s leading youth charity will be using Brandwatch ... and get a better understanding of the topics and issues that ... ...
(Date:3/6/2017)... March 6, 2017 Mintigo , ... today announced Predictive Sales Coach TM , its ... sales intelligence into Salesforce. This unique AI application ... sales organizations with deep knowledge of their customers ... intelligent engagement. Predictive Sales Coach extends Mintigo,s existing ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... Summary This report provides all the information ... partnering interests and activities since 2010. Download the ... Deals and Alliance since 2010 report provides an in-depth ... world,s leading life sciences companies. On demand ... of the most up to date deal and company ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017 DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: ... health and big data solutions, today announced that it ... coverage option for U.S. consumers who want to have ... DarioHealth has signed strategic alliance agreements with partners across ... coverage benefits, and if approved, will supply and bill ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar. 24, 2017 Research ... Stem Cell (hESC) Research - Global Strategic Business Report" report ... ... Cell (hESC) Research in US$ Million. Annual estimates and forecasts are ... are derived from primary and secondary research. The ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN), an immuno-oncology company ... vaccines, today announced participation at the following conferences: ... and Maidstone Life Sciences conference "Cancer Immunotherapy Conference" at ... New York, NY . Agenus will participate in ... am: Robert B. Stein , M.D., Ph.D., President, ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... March 23, 2017  Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTCQB: NWBO) ... immune therapies for solid tumor cancers, today announced ... financing it announced last Friday, March 17, 2017. ... institutional investors securities totaling 28,843,692 shares, comprised of ... 10,000,000 shares of Class C Warrants pre-funded at ...
Breaking Biology Technology: