Visualizing and Manipulating Biological Processes by Using HaloTag and SNAP-Tag Technologies

Conner A. Hoelzel, Xin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Visualizing and manipulating the behavior of proteins is crucial to understanding the physiology of the cell. Methods of biorthogonal protein labeling are important tools to attain this goal. In this review, we discuss advances in probe technology specific for self-labeling protein tags, focusing mainly on the application of HaloTag and SNAP-tag systems. We describe the latest developments in small-molecule probes that enable fluorogenic (no wash) imaging and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. In addition, we cover several methodologies that enable the perturbation or manipulation of protein behavior and function towards the control of biological pathways. Thus, current technical advances in the HaloTag and SNAP-tag systems means that they are becoming powerful tools to enable the visualization and manipulation of biological processes, providing invaluable scientific insights that are difficult to obtain by traditional methodologies. As the multiplex of self-labeling protein tag systems continues to be developed and expanded, the utility of these protein tags will allow researchers to address previously inaccessible questions at the forefront of biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1935-1946
Number of pages12
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 16 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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