The mCherry protein is derived from a natural product, DsRed, originally isolated as a red fluorescent protein from the coral of the genus Discosoma. As with other natural fluorescent proteins of Cnidarians (jelly fish, sea anemones and corals), the natural form of the protein forms stable tetramers in vivo. The protein is widely used as a fluorescent tracer in transfection, transgenic, photobleaching and FRET type experiments. The prototype for these fluorescent proteins is Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), which is a ~27kDa protein isolated originally from the jellyfish Aequoria victoria. The mCherry protein is similar in size and general structural properties to GFP, but, obviously, produces a red rather than a green fluorochrome.
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