Red fluorescent genetically encoded voltage indicators with millisecond responsiveness

Liubov A. Kost, Violetta O. Ivanova, Pavel M. Balaban, Konstantin A. Lukyanov, Evgeny S. Nikitin, Alexey M. Bogdanov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Genetically encoded fluorescent indicators typically consist of the sensitive and reporter protein domains connected with the amino acid linkers. The final performance of a particular indicator may depend on the linker length and composition as strong as it depends on the both domains nature. Here we aimed to optimize interdomain linkers in VSD-FR189-188—a recently described red fluorescent protein-based voltage indicator. We have tested 13 shortened linker versions and monitored the dynamic range, response speed and polarity of the corresponding voltage indicator variants. While the new indicators didn’t show a contrast enhancement, some of them carrying very short interdomain linkers responded 25-fold faster than the parental VSD-FR189-188. Also we found the critical linker length at which fluorescence response to voltage shift changes its polarity from negative to positive slope. Our observations thus make an important contribution to the designing principles of the fluorescent protein-derived voltage indicators.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2982
    JournalSensors (Switzerland)
    Issue number13
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


    • Biosensing techniques
    • Electrophysiology
    • Genetically encoded voltage indicators
    • Interdomain linkers
    • Membrane voltage
    • Red fluorescent proteins
    • Voltage sensors


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