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Confocal image series of the zebrafish intestine stained with mCherry (red) in the intestinal epithelium and Green fluorescent protein in smooth muscle cells.

mCherry is a fluorophore (a fluorescent protein) used in biotechnology as a tracer to follow the flow of fluids, as a marker when tagged to molecules and cell components. mCherry and the majority of red fluorescent proteins derive from a protein isolated from Discosoma sp., while other fluorescent proteins in the green range are often variants of GFP from Aequorea victoria. mCherry is sometimes preferred to other fluorophores due to its colour, as well as its photostability compared to other monomeric fluorophores. The 'm' in the name denotes its monomer configuration, which may be of importance in experimental design (other variants may be prefixed with 'td' for tandem-dimer, for example).

Among red proteins it is a very popular choice, having been cited in over 200 articles so far.[1]


mCherry is a monomeric fluorescent construct with peak absorption/emission at 587 nm and 610 nm, respectively. It is resistant to photobleaching and is stable. It matures quickly, with a t0.5 of 15 minutes, allowing it to be visualised soon after translation.[2]


  1. ^ "mCherry Fluorescent Protein". 
  2. ^ Shaner, Nathan C; Campbell, Robert E; Steinbach, Paul A; Giepmans, Ben N G; Palmer, Amy E; Tsien, Roger Y (2004). "Improved monomeric red, orange and yellow fluorescent proteins derived from Discosoma sp. Red fluorescent protein". Nature Biotechnology 22 (12): 1567–72. doi:10.1038/nbt1037. PMID 15558047.