(2011). Nature Biotechnology, 29(10) , 942-947. doi: 10.1038/nbt.1952. Article Pubmed
We found that the fluorescence of the yellow fluorescent protein Citrine, a derivative of GFP, can be reversibly modulated to a small extent by alternate irradiation with light of 365 nm (on switching) and 405 nm (off switching), whereas fluorescence is excited at 515 nm. However, the achievable contrast was low, especially at pH values >6, rendering the reversible switching of Citrine unusable... To further develop this unusual switching behavior, we performed extensive random mutagenesis as well as directed PCR-mediated mutagenesis. In several consecutive screening rounds ∼70,000 individual clones were analyzed. Finally, we identified a mutant differing from Citrine at four positions (Citrine-V61L, F64I, Y145H, N146D), which can be effectively switched and excited to fluoresce.