Red fluorescent redox-sensitive biosensor Grx1-roCherry
Redox-sensitive fluorescent proteins (roFPs) are a powerful tool for imaging intracellular redox changes. The structure of these proteins contains a pair of cysteines capable of forming a disulfide upon oxidation that affects the protein conformation and spectral characteristics. To date, a palette of such biosensors covers the spectral range from blue to red. However, most of the roFPs suffer from either poor brightness or high pH-dependency, or both. Moreover, there is no roRFP with the redox potential close to that of 2GSH/GSSG redox pair. In the present work, we describe Grx1-roCherry, the first red roFP with canonical FP topology and fluorescent excitation/emission spectra of typical RFP. Grx1-roCherry, with a midpoint redox potential of −311 mV, is characterized by high brightness and increased pH stability (pKa 6.7). We successfully used Grx1-roCherry in combination with other biosensors in a multiparameter imaging mode to demonstrate redox changes in cells under various metabolic perturbations, including hypoxia/reoxygenation. In particular, using simultaneous expression of Grx1-roCherry and its green analog in various compartments of living cells, we demonstrated that local H2O2 production leads to compartment-specific and cell-type-specific changes in the 2GSH/GSSG ratio. Finally, we demonstrate the utility of Grx1-roCherry for in vivo redox imaging.