Marine Biotechnology

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 270–277 | Cite as

Identification of GFP-like Proteins in Nonbioluminescent, Azooxanthellate Anthozoa Opens New Perspectives for Bioprospecting

  • Jörg WiedenmannEmail author
  • Sergey Ivanchenko
  • Franz Oswald
  • G. Ulrich. Nienhaus


We screened nonbioluminescent, azooxanthellate cnidaria as potential sources for advanced marker proteins and succeeded in cloning a tetrameric green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the tentacles of Cerianthus membranaceus. The fluorescence of this protein (cmFP512) is characterized by excitation maximum at 503 nm, emission maximum at 512 nm, extinction coefficient of 58,800 M−1 cm−1, quantum yield of 0.66, and fluorescence lifetime of 2.4 ns. The chromophore is formed from the tripeptide Gln-Tyr-Gly. The amino acid sequence of this protein shares 17.8% identical residues with GFP from Aequorea victoria. Weak interactions between the subunits of the tetramer make cmFP512 a promising lead structure for the generation of monomeric variants of fluorescent proteins. Both red fluorescent proteins and nonfluorescent proteins of the GFP family were also purified from tissue homogenates of Adamsia palliata and Calliactis parasitica. The results presented here indicate that a photoprotective function of GFP-like proteins is unlikely in the examined anthozoa species.


red fluorescent protein green fluorescent protein anthozoa photoprotection. 



We acknowledge the skillfull technical assistance of Ms. Maja Lenz and Mr. Uwe Theilen. We thank Ms. Marie Mühl for dedicated organizational support and Dr. Charly Röcker for helpful discussions. The work was financed in part by the University of Ulm (Anfangsförderung to J.W.), the Landesstiftung Baden-Württemberg (Elite-Postdoc-Förderung to J.W.), and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 569 and GRK 328 to G.U.N.).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörg Wiedenmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sergey Ivanchenko
    • 2
  • Franz Oswald
    • 3
  • G. Ulrich. Nienhaus
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of General Zoology and EndocrinologyUniversity of UlmUlmGermany
  2. 2.Department of BiophysicsUniversity of UlmUlmGermany
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine IUniversity of UlmUlmGermany
  4. 4.Department of PhysicsUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–ChampaignUrbanaU.S.A

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