Impact of fluorescent protein fusions on the bacterial flagellar motor

Fluorescent fusion proteins open a direct and unique window onto protein function. However, they also introduce the risk of perturbation of the function of the native protein. Successful applications of fluorescent fusions therefore rely on a careful assessment and minimization of the side effects, but such insight is still lacking for many applications. This is particularly relevant in the study of the internal dynamics of motor proteins, where both the chemical and mechanical reaction coordinates can be affected. Fluorescent proteins fused to the stator of the Bacterial Flagellar Motor (BFM) have previously been used to unveil the motor subunit dynamics. Here we report the effects on single motors of three fluorescent proteins fused to the stators, all of which altered BFM behavior.

Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 12583(2017)