The last decade has seen development and application of a large number of novel fluorescence-based techniques that have revolutionized fluorescence microscopy in life sciences. Preferred tags for such applications are genetically encoded fluorescent proteins (FP), mostly derivatives of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Combinations of FPs with wavelength-separated absorption/fluorescence properties serve as excellent tools for molecular interaction studies, for example, protein-protein complexes or enzyme-substrate interactions, based on the FRET phenomenon (Förster resonance energy transfer). However, alternatives are requested for experimental conditions where FP proteins or FP couples are not or less efficiently applicable. We here report as a "proof of principle" a specially designed, non-naturally occurring protein (LG1) carrying a combination of a flavin-binding LOV- and a photochromic bilin-binding GAF domain and demonstrate a FRET process between both chromophores.
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