Dual-color flow cytometric detection of fluorescent proteins using single-laser (488-nm) excitation

Lonnie Lybarger, Deborah Dempsey, George H. Patterson, David W. Piston, Steven R. Kain, Robert Chervenak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The ability to analyze independently the expression of multiple reporter gene constructs within single cells is a potentially powerful application of flow cytometry. In this paper, we explore the simultaneous detection of two variants of the reporter molecule, green fluorescent protein (GFP) that both fluoresce when excited with 488-nm light. One of these, enhanced GFP (EGFP) (excitation max. 490 nm; >90% efficiency at 488 nm), has been widely used for studies that involve flow cytometric detection of reporter gene expression. As a partner for EGFP, we employed a recently described variant termed enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) (excitation max. 513 nm; ≃35% efficiency at 488 nm). Using 488-nm excitation, EYFP fluorescence could be readily detected following expression of the gene in murine fibroblasts and this signal was comparable in intensity to that obtained from EGYP. Importantly, we describe an optical filter configuration that permits the fluorescence signals from both proteins to be distinguished by flow cytometry, despite their similar emission maxima. This filter configuration employed a 510/20-nm bandpass filter for EGFP detection, a 550/30-nm bandpass filter for EYFP detection, and a 525-nm short-pass dichroic mirror to separate the two signals. With these filters, expression of either reporter protein could be detected, alone or in combination, within a mixed population of cells over a broad range of signal intensities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998


  • GFP
  • Reporter gene
  • Retrovirus vector
  • YFP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Biophysics
  • Hematology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Dual-color flow cytometric detection of fluorescent proteins using single-laser (488-nm) excitation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this