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Light Up Your Experiments with the Michael Davidson Collection

Posted by Lianna Swanson on Oct 31, 2017 9:22:25 AM

Michael Davidson (1950-2015) dedicated his scientific career to 3 major avenues – mentoring young students and instilling a strong work ethic in them, developing educational resources for microscopy, and building new fluorescent protein tools for the scientific community. Davidson took the fluorescent proteins originally developed by Roger Tsien, a frequent collaborator, and expanded on then to revolutionize the study of cell biology. In 2014, Mike Davidson deposited his plasmid tools with Addgene.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins, Generating Fusions

Fluorescent Tagging of Endogenous Genes with SapTrap

Posted by Michelle Cronin on Oct 12, 2017 10:26:13 AM

Since the discovery of GFP over 50 years ago, the growing spectrum of fluorescent proteins (FPs) has been an invaluable resource for studying the organization and function of cellular systems. FPs have been used to track protein localization, cell structure, intracellular trafficking, and protein turnover rates. Additionally, by engineering FP fusions associated with cellular organelles, scientists have been able to study many cellular processes, including mitosis, mitochondrial fission/fusion, nuclear import, and neuronal trafficking. Although FPs have enabled discovery of many cellular mechanisms, there are some limitations to working with FPs. Overexpression of fluorescently tagged proteins can lead to improper protein localization, protein aggregation, or disruption of normal protein function, and ultimately misinterpretation of the protein’s cellular role.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins, Generating Fusions

Plasmids 101: SunTag and Fluorescent Imaging

Posted by Mary Gearing on Mar 28, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Quick Announcement from the Plasmids 101 Team: In preparation for the release of Addgene's Fluorescent Protein eBook - our next couple of plasmids 101 posts will gain a healthy, fluorescent glow. Stay tuned for more fluorescence-based Plasmid 101 posts in the coming weeks!

In biology as in life, more is often better. More transcription factor binding sites in a promoter lead to higher transcriptional activation. Multiple nuclear localization signals (NLS) increase protein import into the nucleus. In developing their SunTag technology, the Vale and Weissman labs took this biological lesson and created a system to amplify fluorescent signals. Named for the "stellar explosion SUperNova," SunTag can help you turn up the brightness in your fluorescent imaging experiments.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins, Generating Fusions

MXS Chaining

Posted by Leila Haery on Feb 7, 2017 10:30:00 AM

High-throughput cloning, in a nutshell, is the systematic combination of different genetic sequences into plasmid DNA. In high throughput cloning techniques, although the specific sequences of the genetic elements may differ (e.g., a set of various mammalian promoters), the same cloning procedure can be used to incorporate each element into the final construct. This strategy can be used to build vectors with diverse functions, and thus, is used in many biological fields. In synthetic biology for example, high-throughput cloning can be used to combine the functions of different genetic elements to generate non-natural tools such as novel biological circuits or sensors. Given the expanding palette of fluorescent proteins and the availability of powerful imaging technologies, the combination of multiple fluorescent protein sequences to develop diverse fluorescent reporters is a useful application of high-throughput cloning. MXS Chaining is one such technique and has been used to produce complex fluorescent reporter constructs. These fluorescent reporters can be used to detect structure and protein localization, as well as cellular processes like gene expression and cell migration (Sladitschek and Neveu, 2015).

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins, Generating Fusions

Avoiding the Dark Side of Fluorescent Protein Fusions with mOX FPs

Posted by Guest Blogger on Oct 27, 2015 11:00:00 AM

 This post was contributed by guest bloggers Erik L. Snapp and Lindsey M. Costantini.

"You underestimate the power of the Dark Side."

--Darth Vader in "Return of the Jedi"

While Vader was referring to the evil side of a mystical "Force," this quote is equally applicable to many microscopy experiments with fluorescent proteins (FPs) localized to compartments other than the cytoplasm. That is, unfortunately, some investigators realize too late that they have missed the impact of dark, non-fluorescent, and misfolded FP-fusions on quantitative imaging experiments and cell physiology in general.

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Topics: Fluorescent Proteins, Generating Fusions

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