A genetically encoded photosensitizer

Maria E. Bulina, Dmitriy M. Chudakov, Olga V. Britanova, Yurii G. Yanushevich, Dmitry B. Staroverov, Tatyana V. Chepurnykh, Ekaterina M. Merzlyak, Maria A. Shkrob, Sergey Lukyanov, Konstantin A. Lukyanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

438 Citations (Scopus)


Photosensitizers are chromophores that generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon light irradiation1. They are used for inactivation of specific proteins by chromophore-assisted light inactivation (CALI) and for light-induced cell killing in photodynamic therapy. Here we report a genetically encoded photosensitizer, which we call KillerRed, developed from the hydrozoan chromoprotein anm2CP, a homolog of green fluorescent protein (GFP). KillerRed generates ROS upon irradiation with green light. Whereas known photosensitizers must be added to living systems exogenously, KillerRed is fully genetically encoded. We demonstrate the utility of KillerRed for light-induced killing of Escherichia coli and eukaryotic cells and for inactivating fusions to β-galactosidase and phospholipase Cδ1 pleckstrin homology domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-99
Number of pages5
JournalNature Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'A genetically encoded photosensitizer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this