A surprising photoactivity of blue fluorescent protein TagBFP allows for super-resolution microscopy

N. V. Klementieva, K. A. Lukyanov, D. A. Gorbachev, D. M. Chudakov, E. V. Zagaynova, Alexander S. Mishin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this research was to study photobehavior of a popular blue fluorescent protein TagBFP and apply this marker for super-resolution microscopy. Materials and Methods. Photoactivation of TagBFP was examined both in protein solution in vitro and in living cells. Subdiffraction imaging was performed using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy followed by super-resolution radial fluctuations or single-molecule localization analysis. Results. We show that TagBFP exhibits blinking behavior upon 405 nm light illumination. Moreover, photoactivation to red-emitting state is occurring in the conditions typically used for TagBFP imaging. The red (photoactivated) form of TagBFP possesses spectral properties similar to TagRFP — a close homologue of TagBFP. We show that both blinking and photoactivation of TagBFP can be utilized for super-resolution imaging. We conclude that photoactivation of TagBFP to red-emitting form should be taken into account in the design of multi-channel imaging experiments involving high-power or prolonged UV illumination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-38
Number of pages4
JournalSovremennye Tehnologii v Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Blinking
  • Blue-to-red photoconversion
  • Photoactivation
  • Super-resolution microscopy
  • TagBFP


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