The WHO currently recognizes diarrhoeal diseases as a most significant cause of death in children globally.  Protozoan parasites such as Giardia and Entamoeba are common etiological agents.  They both thrive in the oxygen-deprived environment of the human gut.  Moreover, in the urogenital tract, Trichomonas vaginalis is notorious as the most common non-viral, sexually transmitted pathogen.  Again, an anaerobic protozoan parasite!  Despite their high medical impact, our understanding of anaerobic parasite physiology is scarce.  As a result, treatment choices are limited.

Fluorescent proteins (FPs) are inescapable as genetically encoded protein tags for advancing knowledge of cellular function.  These FP tags indeed emit fluorescent colors.  They hence allow tracking parasite proteins in the dynamic cellular space once attached to a protein of interest.  Now, application of GFP-like FPs in anaerobic protozoans is hindered by their oxygen dependency.  Novel promising systems, such as LOV proteins, miniSOG or UnaG, do not require oxygen for signal production.  But they still feature downsides well known by professionals.  For example, even the brightest LOV reporters are considerably dimmer than GFP in cells.  Moreover, few colors are available.

Are you also struggling with anaerobic protozoa labeling?  Have you ever thought of FAST of The Twinkle Factory?

FAST and splitFAST, its complementation variant, is indeed a breakthrough yet recently commercial fluorescence labeling system.  Not requiring oxygen for maturation, FAST labeling is moreover instantaneous and reversible.  It furthermore comes in a variety of colors.  Almost unknown two years ago, FAST is spreading at full speed among the community of anaerobic prokaryotes researchers.  As a result, we expect FAST to become their standard for metabolic engineering, biofilm and microbiota investigations, protein studies, e.g., protein trafficking, protein-protein interactions, extracellular signaling.

What about giving it a try for your challenging proteins in parasitic protozoa?  Stain different, tag FAST!

Read more about anaerobic protozoa labeling

  • The past, present and future of fluorescent protein tags in anaerobic protozoan parasites. Morin-Adeline, V., & Šlapeta, J. Parasitology 2016
  • Beyond the green fluorescent protein: biomolecular reporters for anaerobic and deep-tissue imaging. Ozbakir, H. F., Anderson, N. T., Fan, K. C., & Mukherjee, A.  Bioconjugate Chemistry 2019

Read more about FAST and anaerobes

  • The inducible chemical-genetic fluorescent marker FAST outperforms classical fluorescent proteins in the quantitative reporting of bacterial biofilm dynamics. Monmeyran, A., Thomen, P., Jonquière, H., Sureau, F., Li, C., Plamont, M. A., … & Henry, N. Scientific Reports 2018
  • A strongly fluorescing anaerobic reporter and protein-tagging system for Clostridium organisms based on the fluorescence-activating and absorption-shifting tag protein (FAST). Streett, H. E., Kalis, K. M., & Papoutsakis, E. T. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2019