Green fluorescent protein, the darling of cell biologists and biomedical researchers, may do more than give off light. When the protein fluoresces — allowing researchers to see where cells and proteins boldly glow in petri dishes and living organisms — it also gives up electrons, a team reports online April 26 in Nature Chemical Biology. The research suggests a possible new function of the protein; its normal role has remained a puzzle despite its widespread use in laboratories.
“This is a totally unexpected twist,” comments Mikhail Matz of the University of Texas at Austin. “This is an extremely important piece of the most basic information that was missing for so long.”
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.