Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology | VOL. 10

MCherry contains a fluorescent protein isoform that interferes with its reporter function

Publication Date Aug 9, 2022


Fluorescent proteins are essential reporters in cell and molecular biology. Here, we found that red-fluorescent proteins possess an alternative translation initiation site that produces a short functional protein isoform in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The short isoform creates significant background fluorescence that biases the outcome of expression studies. In this study, we identified the short protein isoform, traced its origin, and determined the extent of the issue within the family of red fluorescent protein. Our analysis showed that the short isoform defect of the red fluorescent protein family may affect the interpretation of many published studies. We provided a re-engineered mCherry variant that lacks background expression as an improved tool for imaging and protein expression studies.


Short Isoform Short Protein Isoform Red Fluorescent Protein Protein Expression Studies Fluorescent Protein Protein Isoform Molecular Biology Short Defect Functional Isoform Alternative Site

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