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Fluorescent protein technology has revolutionised the way in which we carry out experiments in the life sciences, and few areas of biological research remain untouched by the technology. Fluorescent proteins such as the green fluorescent protein (GFP) cloned from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, have been engineered to produce proteins with different fluorescent properties (for example see picture) useful for sensing a vast range of events in living cells. GFP is just one member of the protein superfamily found in marine organisms. Although each member folds to form the same 11-stranded b-barrel a variety of different chromophores (the light emitting component buried inside the barrel) together with the complex network of interactions between the chromophore and the surrounding amino acid side-chains (the protein matrix) determine the myriad range of optical properties.

Our aim is twofold: (a) understand the complex and subtle relationship between FP structure and optical properties, and (b) use newly acquired knowledge to design and engineer new FPs for novel biotechnology applications. In particular we are exploring their use in the fields of autophagy research, super-resolution microscopy and optogenetics. In the new and exciting field of optogenetics light-sensitive probes are used together with focussed light to switch processes 'on' and 'off' in living cells, tissues and intact organisms.



  • fluorescent protein
  • mitochondrion
  • autophagy
  • mitophagy
  • fluorescence
  • Biosensors

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Projects 2000 2019

Research Output 1997 2016

Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition)

Klionsky, D. J., Abdelmohsen, K., Abe, A., Abedin, M. J., Abeliovich, H., Arozena, A. A., Adachi, H., Adams, C. M., Adams, P. D., Adeli, K., Adhihetty, P. J., Adler, S. G., Agam, G., Agarwal, R., Aghi, M. K., Agnello, M., Agostinis, P., Aguilar, P. V., Aguirre-Ghiso, J. A., Airoldi, E. M. & 30 othersAit-Si-Ali, S., Akematsu, T., Akporiaye, E., Al-Rubeai, M., Albaiceta, G. M., Albanese, C., Albani, D., Albert, M. L., Aldudo, J., Algul, H., Alirezaei, M., Alloza, I., Almasan, A., Almonte-Becerril, M., Alnemri, E. S., Alonso, C., Altan-Bonnet, N., Altieri, D. C., Alvarez, S., Alvarez-Erviti, L., Alves, S., Amadoro, G., Bryson-Richardson, R. J., Devenish, R. J., Harris, J., Kwok, T., Mijaljica, D., Osellame, L. D., Prescott, M. & Ruparelia, A., 2016, In : Autophagy. 12, 1, p. 1-222 222 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Perturbation of the two-component signal transduction system, BprRS, results in attenuated virulence and motility defects in Burkholderia pseudomallei

Lazar Adler, N. R., Allwood, E. M., Deveson Lucas, D., Harrison, P., Watts, S., Dimitropoulos, A., Treerat, P., Alwis, P., Devenish, R. J., Prescott, M., Govan, B., Adler, B., Harper, M. & Boyce, J. D., 4 May 2016, In : BMC Genomics. 17, 17 p., 331.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Autophagy: starvation relieves transcriptional repression of ATG genes

Devenish, R. J. & Prescott, M., 2015, In : Current Biology. 25, 6, p. 238 - 240 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

Open Access

Burkholderia pseudomallei type III secretion system cluster 3 ATPase BsaS, a chemotherapeutic target for small-molecule ATPase inhibitors

Gong, L., Lai, S., Treerat, P., Prescott, M., Adler, B., Boyce, J. D. & Devenish, R. J., 2015, In : Infection and Immunity. 83, 4, p. 1276 - 1285 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

The Burkholderia pseudomallei proteins BapA and BapC are secreted TTSS3 effectors and BapB levels modulate expression of BopE

Treerat, P., Alwis, P. A., D'Cruze, T. M., Cullinane, M., Vadivelu, J., Devenish, R. J., Prescott, M., Adler, B. & Boyce, J. D., 2015, In : PLoS ONE. 10, 12, 19 p., e0143916.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access