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Function of Nobel Protein Brought to Light
30.04.2009 12:17
Function of Nobel Protein Brought to Light
Structure of GFP

Team of Russian scientists shed light on what green fluorescent protein (GFP) did in cells and published an article in Nature Chemical Biology magazine.
      
      GFP was isolated from jellyfish Aequorea victoria in 1960s. When exposed to blue light, the protein fluoresces green. Thirty years after nucleotide sequence of the gene, coding GFP, was defined, which allowed scientists to develop a number of molecular techniques for observing various intracellular structures and processes. Discoverers of a green fluorescent protein received Nobel Prize in 2008.
      
      However, despite GFP became a very important molecular tool, researchers still did not know what for organisms, which contained the protein, needed it. Green fluorescence was considered essential for jellyfish to protect them from predators and attracting food.
      
      Experiments of Russian scientists reveal that GFP is an electron donor, which means it transfers electron to acceptor molecule, when irradiated. Similar process takes place in photosynthesis. Authors yet cannot say in what biological processes GFP participates, thus research continues.
      
      Source: Science & Technology


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