Knowledge Builders

why does gfp glow under uv light

by Alene Strosin Published 1 year ago Updated 9 months ago

Solutions of purified GFP look yellow under typical room lights, but when taken outdoors in sunlight, they glow with a bright green color. The protein absorbs ultraviolet light from the sunlight, and then emits it as lower-energy green light.

Full Answer

What causes GFP fluorescence in Agrobacterium Victoria?

In A. victoria, GFP fluorescence occurs when aequorin interacts with Ca 2+ ions, inducing a blue glow. Some of this luminescent energy is transferred to the GFP, shifting the overall color towards green.

How can I co-localize fluorescent dyes with GFP?

The Vertico SMI microscope using the SPDM Phymod technology uses the so-called "reversible photobleaching" effect of fluorescent dyes like GFP and its derivatives to localize them as single molecules in an optical resolution of 10 nm. This can also be performed as a co-localization of two GFP derivatives (2CLM).

How does Visualizing GFP affect biological processes?

Visualizing GFP is noninvasive, requiring only illumination with blue light. GFP alone does not interfere with biological processes, but when fused to proteins of interest, careful design of linkers is required to maintain the function of the protein of interest.

What determines the color and intensity of GFP?

The hydrogen-bonding network and electron-stacking interactions with these sidechains influence the color, intensity and photostability of GFP and its numerous derivatives. The tightly packed nature of the barrel excludes solvent molecules, protecting the chromophore fluorescence from quenching by water.


What makes GFP glow under UV light?

Scientists knew that GFP glows because three of its amino acids form a fluorophore, a chemical group that absorbs and emits light.

Is GFP excited by UV light?

The wild-type GFP has two excitation peaks: a major one at 395nm and a minor at 475nm. If the GFP is excited at 395nm (UV light), it emits green light at a wavelength maximum of 508nm. Excitation at 475nm gives a maximum of 503nm. The S65T mutation leads to chromophore ionization.

Why does GFP fluoresce?

victoria, GFP fluorescence occurs when aequorin interacts with Ca2+ ions, inducing a blue glow. Some of this luminescent energy is transferred to the GFP, shifting the overall color towards green.

Will GFP be produced and the cells glow under UV light?

Bacteria transformed with the pGLO plasmid are selected by ampicillin resistance and when induced to express GFP, they glow fluorescent green under UV light!

Can you see GFP under UV?

Wild type green fluorescent protein (GFP) from Aequorea victoria absorbs predominantly at 398 nm. Illumination with UV (254 nm) or visible (390 nm) light transforms this state (GFP398) into one absorbing at 483 nm (GFP483).

Is GFP light sensitive?

GFP is sensitive to acid The protonated state, however, does not absorb light at 488 nm. The ratio between the two states is reflected by the pKa, which is around 6.0 for GFP.

At what wavelength does GFP fluoresce?

510 nmGFP can be excited by the 488 nm laser line and is optimally detected at 510 nm.

How do fluorescent proteins emit light?

The protein has 238 amino acids, three of them (Numbers 65 to 67) form a structure that emits visible green fluorescent light. In the jellyfish, GFP interacts with another protein, called aequorin, which emits blue light when added with calcium.

What amino acid causes GFP glow?

As is now well known, three amino acids within the central helix (serine 65, tyrosine 66, and glycine 67) rearrange covalently during the folding reaction, and in the presence of molecular oxygen become oxidized to form the chromophore. Denatured GFP is nonfluorescent, but fluorescence is regained upon renaturation.

Why does pGLO glow?

In the pGLO plasmid DNA, some of the genes involved in the breakdown of arabinose have been replaced by the jellyfish gene that codes for GFP. In the presence of arabinose, the GFP gene is turned on, and the bacteria glow brilliant green when exposed to UV light.

Why are the transformation plates illuminated under UV light?

Following the transformation procedure, the bacteria can express their newly acquired jellyfish gene and, in the presence of sugar, will produce the fluorescent protein. This causes the bacteria to glow a brilliant green color under ultraviolet light.

What wavelength does GFP absorb?

395 nmA mechanism for the fluorophore formation has been proposed (3) but needs to be confirmed by further studies. GFP absorbs blue light at 395 nm, with a smaller peak at 475 nm, and emits green light at 508 nm with a quantum yield of 0.72–0.85 (12, 13).


The green fluorescent protein (GFP) is a protein that exhibits bright green fluorescence when exposed to light in the blue to ultraviolet range. The label GFP traditionally refers to the protein first isolated from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria and is sometimes called avGFP. However, GFPs have been found in other organisms including corals, sea anemones, zoanithids, copepods and lancelets.


In the 1960s and 1970s, GFP, along with the separate luminescent protein aequorin (an enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of luciferin, releasing light), was first purified from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria and its properties studied by Osamu Shimomura. In A. victoria, GFP fluorescence occurs when aequorin interacts with Ca ions, inducing a blue glow. Some of this luminescent energy i…

In nature

The purpose of both the (primary) bioluminescence (from aequorin's action on luciferin) and the (secondary) fluorescence of GFP in jellyfish is unknown. GFP is co-expressed with aequorin in small granules around the rim of the jellyfish bell. The secondary excitation peak (480 nm) of GFP does absorb some of the blue emission of aequorin, giving the bioluminescence a more green hue. The serin…

Other fluorescent proteins

There are many GFP-like proteins that, despite being in the same protein family as GFP, are not directly derived from Aequorea victoria. These include dsRed, eqFP611, Dronpa, TagRFPs, KFP, EosFP/IrisFP, Dendra, and so on. Having been developed from proteins in different organisms, these proteins can sometimes display unanticipated approaches to chromophore formation. Some of these, …


GFP has a beta barrel structure consisting of eleven β-strands with a pleated sheet arrangement, with an alpha helix containing the covalently bonded chromophore 4-(p-hydroxybenzylidene)imidazolidin-5-one (HBI) running through the center. Five shorter alpha helices form caps on the ends of the structure. The beta barrel structure is a nearly perfect cylinder, 42Å long and 24Å in diam…


Green fluorescent protein may be used as a reporter gene.
For example, GFP can be used as a reporter for environmental toxicity levels. This protein has been shown to be an effective way to measure the toxicity levels of various chemicals including ethanol, p-formaldehyde, phenol, triclosan, and paraben. GFP is great as a reporter protein because it has no effect on th…

See also

• Protein tag
• pGLO
• Yellow fluorescent protein
• Genetically encoded voltage indicator

Further reading

• Pieribone V, Gruber D (2006). Aglow in the Dark: The Revolutionary Science of Biofluorescence. Cambridge: Belknap Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01921-8. OCLC 60321612. Popular science book describing history and discovery of GFP
• Zimmer M (2005). Glowing Genes: A Revolution In Biotechnology. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1-59102-253-4. OCLC 56614624.

1.Green fluorescent protein - Wikipedia


12 hours ago  · Why does GFP glow under UV light? All because of a single protein, called green fluorescent protein ( GFP ), which is responsible for the jellyfish's fluorescence. Shimomura discovered this something is another protein: GFP , which absorbs the aequorin's blue and ultraviolet light and emits green light , giving the jellyfish its glow .

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9