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Better Fluorescent Fish

Improve GloFish with cytosolic calcium-sensing fluorophores.
  [vote for,

So, pet fish modified to be permanently fluorescent by genetic means already exist, they are called GloFish. These are pretty good, I've got some. I particularly like the red ones, which are expressing red fluorescent protein (RFP) throughout all their tissues. However, they could have done so much better, in addition to the stable, cytosolic RFP I think the addition of a muscle-targeted pericam (FlashPericam would do...) would really spice things up. So, what this would achieve is that the fish would be red fluorescent all the time, however when it swims about in the pleasing manner that fish are wont to do, it would use series of coordinated muscle contractions. Now, muscle contraction is secondary to a large increase in cytosolic calcium concentration, this would make the cytosol-located pericam go from not-very-fluorescent- at- all to -really-quite-fluorescent-indeed, meaning the fish would have some very pleasing green flashes down the sides as they swam. There. GloFish, only much better.
bs0u0155, Dec 27 2011

(?) GFP-based Genetically Encoded Calcium Sensors: http://www.riken.go...df/No_49/49_055.pdf
[bs0u0155, Dec 27 2011]

GloFish http://www.glofish.com/
[bs0u0155, Dec 27 2011]


       No annotations?   

       This I like a lot.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 30 2011

       //No annotations?// What's to say? It's just a good idea, that's all.
mouseposture, Dec 30 2011

       Midnight In The Fishtank Of Good And Evil.
infidel, Dec 31 2011

       I gave it a bun based on innovativeness.   

       No clue if it would work so... so, just skip this anno, go on to the next one and pretend I haven't said anything at all.   

       Uh, me again.   

       Just to reiterate, cool idea, but not a clue as to its viability.   

       Carry on.   

       A priori, I think it's about as feasible as the original GloFish, i.e. I can't see any reason why it couldn't be feased.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2011

       So to make this (skeletal) muscle specific; there are a bunch of myosin proteins that are found only in this cell type. Simply bunging one of those promoters on the front end of the DNA used in a Cre recombination system should get you to where you need to be, I'd recomend the promoter for myosin light chain. There are a whole bunch of targetting sequences for the cytosol, but you'd suck it and see before you added one of those. I'm not really a muscle expert but I think the actual creation of this zebra fish, is trivial to someone who's a got a bit of a Zebra Fish bent. And it will work.   

       EDIT, the amplitude of calcium signals is pretty huge, and the Kd of most of the pericams is such that in muscle at least, it might spend the vast majority of it's time being fluorescent. However, there are lower affinity pericam mutants (D2D3 for example) that might suit better.
bs0u0155, Jan 06 2012

       a quick google suggests that the adult Zebra fish's heart rate is 125/min. Perfect for a cardiac muscle- targeted pericam, flashing away in a predominantly transparent fish.
bs0u0155, Jan 06 2012

       So we finally crack the DNA code..and what do we do, we make fish that glow. Sighs.   

       Anyway, wouldn't it be more fun to make fishermen that could glow in the dark and lure in prey,for example, tax inspectors or something like that..
not_morrison_rm, Jan 08 2012

       Holy crap, a genetic modification idea by somebody who actually appears to have some idea of what he's talking about!   

       Definite [+] for the mental imagery, although I do wish that GloFish were legal in my state...
Hive_Mind, Jan 08 2012

       Yeah, they're illegal in California. It's truly strange, it's not like they'd survive in the wild. It's not like GFP is toxic in any way. Truly, lawmaking based upon paranoia.
bs0u0155, Jan 09 2012

       Could you make just the fish's eyes flourescent? This might look good in the dark.
hippo, Jan 09 2012

       Forgive me if I'm wrong, but in the case of animals genetically modified into glowing in the dark, wasn't the original gene taken from fluorescent fish in the first place?
mitxela, Jan 09 2012

       No.Originally, GFP was isolated from Aquoria Victoria, a jellyfish. However, it wasn't very good for scientific use. It didn't like 37C, it was a bit too happy absorbing UV light. Which is where Roger Tsien's '95 Nature paper comes in. eGFP was stable, convenient, brighter, fast folding, all round great. Then, someone put a calcium binding motif on it, and it can be made so that the protein either folds into or out of the fluorescent conformation. So, upon calcium binding it either gets a hell of a lot brighter (pericam) or a hell of a lot dimmer (inverse pericam).
bs0u0155, Jan 10 2012


       Glofish already have fluorescent eyes. The green glofish (completely anecdotal) appear to be blind when the UV light is on and they are very brightly fluorescent. I can tell because they follow their eyes straight to the food when the normal light is on. If you add the UV they swim around apparently attracted to the scent... following the currents from the filter/pump setup.   

       I suspect that it is because the GFP is expressed in the retina. This would somewhat impede useful vision.
bs0u0155, Jan 10 2012


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