Fluorescent labeling of proteins is an unrivaled technique for studying protein function within the native cellular context. Synthetic proteins are a powerful tool for achieving this fluorescent labeling, and can offer unique labeling and tracking abilities that cannot be achieved via other labeling strategies. Here we present a brief overview of the many synthetic proteins that have been developed for fluorescent labeling applications, highlighting the particular strengths and weaknesses associated with each. We also comment on current areas of research in the field, and identify additional areas that require further improvement.
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