VanEngelenburg, S.B. and Palmer, A.E.
Fluorescent biosensors of protein function.  Current Opinion in Chemical Biology 12: 60-5 (2008).

Fluorescent biosensors allow researchers to image and quantify protein activity and small molecule signals in living cells with high spatial and temporal resolution. Genetically encoded sensors are coded by a DNA sequence and hence constructed entirely out of amino acids. These biosensors typically utilize light-emitting proteins, such as derivatives of the green fluorescent protein (GFP), and have been developed for a wide range of small molecules and enzyme activities. Fluorescent biosensors can be genetically targeted to distinct locations within cells, such as organelles and membranes. This feature facilitates elucidation of how protein activities and cellular signals are modulated in different regions of the cell. Improvements in the dynamic range and robustness of sensors have enabled high throughput screening for molecules that act as agonists or antagonists of protein function.