Comparison of SNAP-tag®/CLIP-tag™ Technologies to GFP

While SNAP-tag®/CLIP-tag™ technologies are complementary to GFP, there are several applications for which SNAP- and CLIP-self-labeling technologies are advantageous.

Application SNAP-tag/CLIP-tag GFP and other fluorescent proteins
Time-resolved fluorescence Fluorescence can be initiated upon addition of label Color is genetically encoded and always expressed. Also, photoactivatable fluorescent proteins require high-intensity laser light, which may activate undesired cellular pathways (e.g., apoptosis)
Pulse-chase analysis Labeling of newly synthesized proteins can be turned off using available blocking reagents (e.g., SNAP-Cell® Block) Fluorescence of newly synthesized proteins cannot be quenched to investigate dynamic processes
Ability to change colors A single construct can be used with different dye substrates to label with multiple colors Requires separate cloning and expression for each color
Surface-specific labeling Can specifically label subpopulation of target protein expressed on cell surface using non-cell permeable substrates Surface subpopulation cannot be specifically visualized
Visualizing fixed cells Resistant to fixation; strong labeling Labile to fixation; weak labeling
Pull-down studies "Bait" proteins can be covalently captured on BG beads Requires anti-GFP antibody to non-covalently capture “bait" protein, complicating downstream analysis
Live animal imaging Near-IR dyes are available, permitting deep tissue visualization Limited to visible wavelengths

SNAP-tag® and SNAP-Cell® are registered trademarks of New England Biolabs, Inc.
CLIP-tag™ is a trademark of New England Biolabs, Inc.