Fluorescent proteins in cellular organelles: Serious pitfalls and some solutions

Lindsey M. Costantini, Erik Lee Snapp

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Fluorescent proteins (FPs) have been powerful tools for cell biologists for over 15 years. The large variety of FPs available rarely comes with an instruction manual or a warning label. The potential pitfalls of the use of FPs in cellular organelles represent a significant concern for investigators. FPs generally did not evolve in the often distinctive physicochemical environments of subcellular organelles. In organelles, FPs can misfold, go dark, and even distort organelle morphology. In this minireview, we describe the issues associated with FPs in organelles and provide solutions to enable investigators to better exploit FP technology in cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-627
Number of pages6
JournalDNA and Cell Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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