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Commercial Sources of Fluorescent Protein Vectors

A variety of fluorescent proteins, available as recombinant DNA plasmid vectors designed for transfection of mammalian cells or transformation of bacteria, are commercially available from a number of distributors. Most of the vectors containing fluorescent protein DNA sequences have been codon-optimized for expression in mammalian cells and contain antibiotic genes for selection of stable mutants having relatively constant expression levels. The vectors often contain multiple cloning sequences that enable researchers to easily insert their gene of interest for fusion to the fluorescent protein. Other common features in fluorescent protein vectors include a human cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter, a Kozak translation initiation site, an early mRNA polyadenylation signal, and a bacterial antibiotic gene.

Amaxa Biosystems - Headquartered in Cologne, Germany with an American subsidiary in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Amaxa offers a range of products designed for efficient transfection and electroporation of mammalian cell lines. Included are the pmaxFP line of fluorescent protein vectors: pmaxFP-Green, pmaxFP-Yellow-m, and pmaxFP-Red, which are alternative labels for TurboGFP, phiYFP, and JRed, respectively. The plasmids are equipped with selectable markers (Kanamycin/G-418), a multiple cloning sequence, enhanced promoters, and polyadenylation signals to serve as hosts for N-terminal and C-terminal fusions.

BD Biosciences Pharmingen - The Pharmingen unit of BD Biosciences markets mammalian, nematode, and insect expression vectors containing blue, green, and yellow fluorescent protein sequences. Many of these vectors are expressed by baculovirus transfection, contain a multiple cloning site, antibiotic resistance gene, and hexa-histidine markers. Mammalian expression vectors are supplied with a blasticidin or ampicillin antibiotic resistance sequence for selection of stable transfectants, and are designed to produce fusions to the C-terminus and N-terminus of target proteins.

Clontech Laboratories - Currently owned by Takara Bio, Inc., Clontech Laboratories in involved with the development, production, and marketing of a wide spectrum of biological products, including their Living Colors lineup of fluorescent protein vectors. Among the vectors offered by Clontech are AcGFP1, AmCyan1, AsRed2, DsRed2, HcRed1, Timer, ZsGreen1, and ZsYellow1, featured as bacterial and codon-optimized mammalian expression agents designed for the construction of C-terminal and N-terminal fusions, as well as a limited number of sub-cellular localization fusion constructs.

Evrogen - Headquartered in Moscow, Russia, Evrogen provides a number of novel products for molecular and cellular biological investigations, including a lineup of fluorescent protein and optical highlighter vectors. Ranging in color from cyan to the far red, the vectors offered by Evrogen include CopGFP, PhiYFP, JRed, TurboGFP, and the photoconvertible fluorescent proteins KFP-Red (Kindling) and PS-CFP2. The vectors are available as bacterial and mammalian expression vectors designed to produce fusions to the C-terminus and N-terminus of target proteins, as well as a limited number of sub-cellular localization fusion constructs.

Invitrogen - One of the largest biotechnology companies to offer fluorescent protein vectors, Invitrogen also owns Molecular Probes, the world-recognized leader in synthetic fluorophores. Invitrogen's Vivid Color fluorescent protein vector lineup includes a variety of color-shifted mutants derived from the original Aequorea victoria jellyfish GFP. Among the vectors available from Invitrogen are Emerald Green Fluorescent Protein (EmGFP), YFP, BFP, CFP, and Cycle3 GFP, an enhanced version of wild-type GFP with brighter fluorescence and optimized expression.

LUX Biotechnology - Based in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, LUX (a distributor for Prolume Ltd.) develops modern enabling technologies for drug discovery, toxicity testing and research. The company has three product ranges that include whole organism screening, scientific reference devices and a wide variety of novel luminescence and fluorescence research reagents. Among the fluorescent protein vectors available from LUX are native and human-codon optimized GFP sequences derived from Ptilosarcus (Sea Pen) and Renilla (Sea Pansy) Anthozoan species. The company also develops marine Luciferases, Luciferins, photoproteins, and related products.

MBL International - Enlisting a host of international distributors, MBL International is a subsidiary of Medical and Biological Laboratories Company, LTD in Japan. The company offers a wide variety of agents for research in cellular biology including their CoralHue lineup of fluorescent protein and optical highlighter vectors. Among the proteins offered by MBL are Azami Green, Dronpa, Kaede, Kikume (KikGR), Kusabira Orange, and Midoriishi Cyan. The vectors are available as bacterial and mammalian expression vectors designed to produce fusions to the C-terminus and N-terminus of target proteins.

NanoLight Technology - NanoLight is the technology division of Prolume Ltd., a company focusing upon broad based applications of marine bioluminescence. The NanoLight division is dedicated to providing scientists with the highest quality reagent luciferins, recombinant bioluminescent proteins, photoproteins, and fluorescent proteins. Among the fluorescent protein vectors available from NanoLight are native and human-codon optimized GFP sequences derived from Ptilosarcus (Sea Pen) and Renilla (Sea Pansy) Anthozoan species. The company also develops marine Luciferases, Luciferins, photoproteins, and related products.

Nature Technology Corporation - Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, NTC is a technology-based molecular biology and gene therapy company, providing expert vector and DNA vaccine development, as well as highly-purified plasmid DNA production and recombinant protein manufacturing services. Most of the services offered by NTC are highly customized to suit the individual needs of customers.

Perkin Elmer - Widely known for products in the optoelectronics and fluid dynamics sciences, Perkin Elmer is also a leading provider of products for drug discovery, genetic engineering, and chemical analysis. The company distributed GFP2 (squared) vectors, which are human codon-optimized derivatives of the original Aequorea victoria jellyfish GFP. Perkin Elmer GFP vectors contain a multiple cloning site located either upstream (for N-terminus fusions) or downstream (for C-terminus fusions) of the fluorescent protein nucleotide sequence.

Planet Gene - Planet Gene is a unique company offering a searchable database of synthetic genes that have been modified from natural sequences to improve or alter one or more properties. The company's DNA-2-Go program enables researchers to obtain custom gene synthesis of specific DNA sequences in the database. Among the fluorescent protein complementary DNA sequences available from Planet Gene are mCFP, Cerulean, mEGFP, mVenus, mHoneydew, mBanana, mOrange, mTangerine, mStrawberry, mRFP1, mRFPmars, mCherry, mRaspberry, and mPlum.

Promega - An international corporation based in Madison, Wisconsin, Promega offers a wide spectrum of products targeted a research in the life sciences. The company markets the Monster Green fluorescent protein, which is packaged in a mammalian expression vector (hMGFP) derived from the Great Star coral, Montastraea cavernosa. This fluorescent protein is a slightly red-shifted version of GFP with an absorption maxima at 505 nanometers and a fluorescence emission peak located at 515 nanometers.

Stratagene - With a worldwide headquarters in La Jolla, California, Stratagene develops innovative products and technologies for life science research. The fluorescent protein vectors available from Stratagene are bundled into the company's Vitality product line, which includes hrGFP II, a humanized green fluorescent protein derived from Renilla reniformis. Stratagene vectors are available as bacterial and mammalian expression agents designed to produce fusions to the C-terminus and N-terminus of target proteins, as well as a limited number of sub-cellular localization fusion constructs.

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