Remembering Nobel
laureate Roger Tsien

Biochemist renowned for his illuminating work
with fluorescent proteins passed away at age 64

Published September 01 2016

Nobel laureate Roger Tsien Tsien’s research was crucial to developing a dazzling sunset’s worth of labels.
























In 2008, the Nobel prize for chemistry was awarded to a trio of researchers — Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie and Roger Y. Tsien — for their discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein. On Aug. 24, Tsien, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, passed away in Eugene, Ore., at the age of 64.

Tsien, who was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and professor of pharmacology at the UCSD School of Medicine, helped to revolutionize cell biology and neuroscience by allowing researchers to peer into the workings of untold numbers of proteins and structures with myriad colored labels. In honor of Tsien’s life and work, we’ve included the full breadth of his papers published in the ASBMB’s Journal of Biological Chemistry below.

  1. Neuroligin Trafficking Deficiencies Arising from Mutations in the α/β-Hydrolase Fold Protein Family, 2010
  2. Parallel in Vivo and in Vitro Selection Using Phage Display Identifies Protease-dependent Tumor-targeting Peptides, 2010
  3. Calcium-dependent Regulation of Protein Kinase D Revealed by a Genetically Encoded Kinase Activity Reporter, 2006
  4. Dynamics of the Upper 50-kDa Domain of Myosin V Examined with Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer, 2006
  5. Spatio-temporal Dynamics of Protein Kinase B/Akt Signaling Revealed by a Genetically Encoded Fluorescent Reporter, 2004
  6. Imaging Dynamic Redox Changes in Mammalian Cells with Green Fluorescent Protein Indicators, 2004
  7. Investigating Mitochondrial Redox Potential with Redox-sensitive Green Fluorescent Protein Indicators, 2004
  8. Mechanisms of pH Regulation in the Regulated Secretory Pathway, 2001
  9. Reducing the Environmental Sensitivity of Yellow Fluorescent Protein, 2001
  10. Inhibition of NF-κB Activation by Arsenite through Reaction with a Critical Cysteine in the Activation Loop of IκB Kinase, 2000
  11. Membrane-permeant Esters of Phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-Trisphosphate, 1998
  12. Degradation of a Calcium Influx Factor (CIF) Can Be Blocked by Phosphatase Inhibitors or Chelation of Ca2+, 1995
  13. Thermostable inhibitor of cAMP-dependent protein kinase enhances the rate of export of the kinase catalytic subunit from the nucleus, 1994
  14. Heat-stable inhibitors of cAMP-dependent protein kinase carry a nuclear export signal, 1994
  15. Caged nitric oxide. Stable organic molecules from which nitric oxide can be photoreleased, 1994
  16. Acetoxymethyl esters of phosphates, enhancement of the permeability and potency of cAMP, 1993
  17. Fluorescent indicators for cytosolic calcium based on rhodamine and fluorescein chromophores, 1989
  18. Photochemically generated cytosolic calcium pulses and their detection by fluo-3, 1989
  19. Fluorescent indicators for cytosolic sodium, 1989
  20. Fluorescence ratio imaging of cytosolic free Na+ in individual fibroblasts and lymphocytes, 1989
  21. Ca2+ oscillations induced by hormonal stimulation of individual fura-2-loaded hepatocytes, 1989
  22. Agonist-stimulated oscillations and cycling of intracellular free calcium in individual cultured muscle cells, 1988
  23. A new generation of Ca2+ indicators with greatly improved fluorescence properties, 1985
  24. Cytosolic Ca2+ homeostasis in Ehrlich and Yoshida carcinomas. A new, membrane-permeant chelator of heavy metals reveals that these ascites tumor cell lines have normal cytosolic free Ca2+, 1985
John Arnst John Arnst is ASBMB Today’s science writer.