A green to red photoconvertible protein as an analyzing tool for early vertebrate development



Lineage labeling is one of the most important techniques in developmental biology. Most recently, a set of photoactivatable fluorescent proteins originating from marine cnidarians became available. Here, we introduce the application of the green to red photoconvertible protein EosFP as a novel technique to analyze early vertebrate development. Both injection of EosFP mRNA and purified, recombinant EosFP followed by a light-driven green to red conversion allow lineage labeling in virtually any temporal and spatial dimension during embryonic development for at least 2 weeks. Specific staining of cells from nonsurface layers is greatly facilitated by light-driven conversion of EosFP compared with traditional methods. Therefore, green to red photoactivatable proteins promise to be a powerful tool with the potential to satisfy the increasing demand for methods enabling detailed phenotypical analyses after manipulations of morphogenetic events, gene expression, or signal transduction. Developmental Dynamics 236:473–480, 2007. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.