Nobel Prize for GFP: A Behind the Scenes View

William Ward (Biochemistry and Microbiology)

Green-fluorescent protein (GFP) is one of the most important reporter proteins in all of biology and biotechnology. Unlike the chromoproteins, hemoglobin, cytochrome C, and chlorophyll-containing plant proteins, GFP is the only chromoprotein that makes its own chromophore. In this seminar, we will discuss the importance of this feature for molecular biologists who can genetically label any colorless protein, or any cell, tissue, organ, or organism with a single gene that codes for GFP. For example, labeling cancer cells with the GFP gene allows a scientist to follow metastasis wherever the cancer cells move. The label is genetically replicated, so all progeny cells are brilliantly fluorescent. You may have seen photographs of fluorescent plants, fish, pigs, or cats. More than just novelties, these fluorescent plants and animals produce offspring that are equally fluorescent. Join this seminar for an opportunity to work with an expert in the biochemistry of GFP.

Course Number: 
11:090:101 section 13 index 11596