Fluorescent reporters are useful in vitro and in vivo probes of protein structure, function, and localization. Here we report that the fluorescent amino acid, 3-(6-acetylnaphthalen-2-ylamino)-2-aminopropanoic acid (Anap), can be site-specifically incorporated into proteins in mammalian cells in response to the TAG codon with high efficiency using an orthogonal amber suppressor tRNA/aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (aaRS) pair. We further demonstrate that Anap can be used to image the subcellular localization of proteins in live mammalian cells. The small size of Anap, its environment-sensitive fluorescence, and the ability to introduce Anap at specific sites in the proteome by simple mutagenesis make it a unique and valuable tool in eukaryotic cell biology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry