Marija E. Bulina

Ph.D. (biological sciences)

Selected publications

  1. Merzlyak E.M., Goedhart J., Shcherbo D., Bulina M.E., Shcheglov A.S., Fradkov A.F., Gaintzeva A., Lukyanov K.A., Lukyanov S., Gadella T.W., Chudakov D.M. (2007). Bright monomeric red fluorescent protein with an extended fluorescence lifetime. Nat. Methods 4 (7), 555–7 [+]

    Fluorescent proteins have become extremely popular tools for in vivo imaging and especially for the study of localization, motility and interaction of proteins in living cells. Here we report TagRFP, a monomeric red fluorescent protein, which is characterized by high brightness, complete chromophore maturation, prolonged fluorescence lifetime and high pH-stability. These properties make TagRFP an excellent tag for protein localization studies and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) applications.

  2. Bulina M.E., Lukyanov K.A., Britanova O.V., Onichtchouk D., Lukyanov S., Chudakov D.M. (2006). Chromophore-assisted light inactivation (CALI) using the phototoxic fluorescent protein KillerRed. Nat Protoc 1 (2), 947–53 [+]

    The phototoxic red fluorescent GFP-like protein KillerRed has recently been described. The phototoxicity of KillerRed exceeds that of EGFP by at least 1,000-fold, making it the first fully genetically encoded photosensitizer. KillerRed opens up new possibilities for precise light-induced cell killing and target protein inactivation. Because KillerRed is encoded by a gene, it can be expressed in a spatially and temporally regulated manner, under a chosen promoter, and fused with the desired protein of interest or localization signal. Here we provide a protocol for target protein inactivation in cell culture using KillerRed. As KillerRed is a new tool, the protocol focuses on aspects that will allow users to maximize the potential of this protein, guiding the design of chimeric constructs, recommended control experiments and preferred illumination parameters. The protocol, which describes target protein visualization and subsequent inactivation, is a 2- or 3-d procedure.

  3. Bulina M.E., Chudakov D.M., Britanova O.V., Yanushevich Y.G., Staroverov D.B., Chepurnykh T.V., Merzlyak E.M., Shkrob M.A., Lukyanov S., Lukyanov K.A. (2006). A genetically encoded photosensitizer. Nat. Biotechnol. 24 (1), 95–9 [+]

    Photosensitizers are chromophores that generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon light irradiation. They are used for inactivation of specific proteins by chromophore-assisted light inactivation (CALI) and for light-induced cell killing in photodynamic therapy. Here we report a genetically encoded photosensitizer, which we call KillerRed, developed from the hydrozoan chromoprotein anm2CP, a homolog of green fluorescent protein (GFP). KillerRed generates ROS upon irradiation with green light. Whereas known photosensitizers must be added to living systems exogenously, KillerRed is fully genetically encoded. We demonstrate the utility of KillerRed for light-induced killing of Escherichia coli and eukaryotic cells and for inactivating fusions to beta-galactosidase and phospholipase Cdelta1 pleckstrin homology domain.

  4. Bulina M.E., Lukyanov K.A., Yampolsky I.V., Chudakov D.M., Staroverov D.B., Shcheglov A.S., Gurskaya N.G., Lukyanov S. (2004). New class of blue animal pigments based on Frizzled and Kringle protein domains. J. Biol. Chem. 279 (42), 43367–70 [+]

    The nature of coloration in many marine animals remains poorly investigated. Here we studied the blue pigment of a scyfoid jellyfish Rhizostoma pulmo and determined it to be a soluble extracellular 30-kDa chromoprotein with a complex absorption spectrum peaking at 420, 588, and 624 nm. Furthermore, we cloned the corresponding cDNA and confirmed its identity by immunoblotting and mass spectrometry experiments. The chromoprotein, named rpulFKz1, consists of two domains, a Frizzled cysteine-rich domain and a Kringle domain, inserted into one another. Generally, Frizzleds are members of a basic Wnt signal transduction pathway investigated intensely with regard to development and cancerogenesis. Kringles are autonomous structural domains found throughout the blood clotting and fibrinolytic proteins. Neither Frizzled and Kringle domains association with any type of coloration nor Kringle intrusion into Frizzled sequence was ever observed. Thus, rpulFKz1 represents a new class of animal pigments, whose chromogenic group remains undetermined. The striking homology between a chromoprotein and members of the signal transduction pathway provides a novel node in the evolution track of growth factor-mediated morphogenesis compounds.

  5. Bulina M.E., Verkhusha V.V., Staroverov D.B., Chudakov D.M., Lukyanov K.A. (2003). Hetero-oligomeric tagging diminishes non-specific aggregation of target proteins fused with Anthozoa fluorescent proteins. Biochem. J. 371 (Pt 1), 109–14 [+]

    The tendency for tetramerization is the main disadvantage in the green fluorescent protein homologues from Anthozoa species. We report a universal method called hetero-oligomeric tagging, which diminishes troublesome consequences of tetramerization of Anthozoa-derived fluorescent proteins (FP) in intracellular protein labelling. This approach is based on the co-expression of the FP-tagged protein of interest together with an excess of free non-fluorescent FP mutant. The resulting FP heterotetramers contain only a single target polypeptide and, therefore, can be considered pseudo-monomeric. Feasibility of the method has been demonstrated with a red FP fused with cytoplasmic beta-actin or tubulin-binding protein Tau34. In addition, heterotetramers appeared to be a unique model for biophysical characterization of Anthozoa FPs in pseudo-monomeric state.

  6. Bulina M.E., Chudakov D.M., Mudrik N.N., Lukyanov K.A. (2002). Interconversion of Anthozoa GFP-like fluorescent and non-fluorescent proteins by mutagenesis. BMC Biochem. 3, 7 [+]

    BACKGROUND: Within the family of green fluorescent protein (GFP) homologs, one can mark two main groups, specifically, fluorescent proteins (FPs) and non-fluorescent or chromoproteins (CPs). Structural background of differences between FPs and CPs are poorly understood to date. RESULTS: Here, we applied site-directed and random mutagenesis in order to to transform CP into FP and vice versa. A purple chromoprotein asCP (asFP595) from Anemonia sulcata and a red fluorescent protein DsRed from Discosoma sp. were selected as representatives of CPs and FPs, respectively. For asCP, some substitutions at positions 148 and 165 (numbering in accordance to GFP) were found to dramatically increase quantum yield of red fluorescence. For DsRed, substitutions at positions 148, 165, 167, and 203 significantly decreased fluorescence intensity, so that the spectral characteristics of these mutants became more close to those of CPs. Finally, a practically non-fluorescent mutant DsRed-NF was generated. This mutant carried four amino acid substitutions, specifically, S148C, I165N, K167M, and S203A. DsRed-NF possessed a high extinction coefficient and an extremely low quantum yield (< 0.001). These spectral characteristics allow one to regard DsRed-NF as a true chromoprotein. CONCLUSIONS: We located a novel point in asCP sequence (position 165) mutations at which can result in red fluorescence appearance. Probably, this finding could be applied onto other CPs to generate red and far-red fluorescent mutants. A possibility to transform an FP into CP was demonstrated. Key role of residues adjacent to chromophore's phenolic ring in fluorescent/non-fluorescent states determination was revealed.