A synergy of technologies: combining laser microsurgery with green fluorescent protein tagging. Academic Article uri icon


  • When focused through an objective lens with a high numerical aperture, nanosecond pulses of high-intensity green (532-nm) laser light can be used to selectively destroy any cellular component whose boundaries can be defined by light microscopy. These components include, for example, chromosomes, spindle fibers, bundles of keratin, or actin filaments, mitochondria, vacuoles, and so forth. In addition, the definition of poorly resolved components can be enhanced for selective destruction by tagging one or more of their constituent proteins with green fluorescence protein (GFP). As a example we show that the centrosome in living PtK1 cells can be clearly defined, and then destroyed by green laser light, after transforming the cells with gamma-tubulin/GFP fusion protein. In some transformed cells it is even possible to target and selectively destroy just one of the centrioles.

publication date

  • 1997