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Two-color GFP expression system for C. elegans


Miller DMD M , Desai NSN S , Hardin DCD C , Piston DWD W , Patterson GHG H , Fleenor JJ , Xu SS , Fire AA . BioTechniques. 1999 5 1; 26(5). 914-8, 920-1


We describe the use of modified versions of the Aequora victoria green fluorescent protein (GFP) to simultaneously follow the expression and distribution of two different proteins in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. A cyan-colored GFP derivative, designated CFP, contains amino acid (aa) substitutions Y66W, N146I, M153T and V163A relative to the original GFP sequence and is similar to the previously reported “W7” form. A yellow-shifted GFP derivative, designated YFP, contains aa substitutions S65G, V68A, S72A and T203Y and is similar to the previously described “I0C” variant. Coding regions for CFP and YFP were constructed in the context of a high-activity C. elegans expression system. Previously characterized promoters and localization signals have been used to express CFP and YFP in C. elegans. Filter sets designed to distinguish YFP and CFP fluorescence spectra allowed visualization of the two distinct forms of GFP in neurons and in muscle cells. A series of expression vectors carrying CFP and YFP have been constructed and are being made available to the scientific community.