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Turkowyd, Bartosz; Balinovic, Alexander; Virant, David; Goelz Carnero, Haruko G.; Caldana, Fabienne; Endesfelder, Marc; Bourgeois, Dominique; Endesfelder, Ulrike (2017): A General Mechanism of Photoconversion of Green-to-Red Fluorescent Proteins Based on Blue and Infrared Light Reduces Phototoxicity in Live-Cell Single-Molecule Imaging. In: Angewandte Chemie-international Edition, Vol. 56, No. 38: pp. 11634-11639
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Photoconversion of fluorescent proteins by blue and complementary near-infrared light, termed primed conversion (PC), is a mechanism recently discovered for Dendra2. We demonstrate that controlling the conformation of arginine at residue 66 by threonine at residue 69 of fluorescent proteins from Anthozoan families (Dendra2, mMaple, Eos, mKikGR, pcDronpa protein families) represents a general route to facilitate PC. Mutations of alanine 159 or serine 173, which are known to influence chromophore flexibility and allow for reversible photoswitching, prevent PC. In addition, we report enhanced photoconversion for pcDronpa variants with asparagine 116. We demonstrate live-cell single-molecule imaging with reduced phototoxicity using PC and record trajectories of RNA polymerase in Escherichia coli cells.