Provided are methods of assaying and improving protein folding using circular permutants of fluorescent proteins, including circular permutants of GFP variants and combinations thereof. The invention further provides various nucleic acid molecules and vectors incorporating such nucleic acid molecules, comprising polynucleotides encoding fluorescent protein circular permutants derived from superfolder GFP, which polynucleotides include an internal cloning site into which a heterologous polynucleotide may be inserted in-frame with the circular permutant coding sequence, and which when expressed are capable of reporting on the degree to which a polypeptide encoded by such an inserted heterologous polynucleotide is correctly folded by correlation with the degree of fluorescence exhibited.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under grant number DE-F002-98ER62647 from the United States Department of Energy and Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the United States Department of Energy to The Regents of The University of California. The government has certain rights in this invention.