Variable effects of C-terminal fusions on FLS2 function – not all epitope tags are created equal (Plant Physiol.)

A protein’s function and localization are often studied by fusing to it a small “tag” to enhance visualization (through the tag’s fluorescence or antibodies that recognize the tag). These tags are often assumed to have little effect on the protein of interest, but as Hurst et al. show using several different tags fused to the receptor-like kinase FLS2, this is not always the case. They assay the ability of FLS2 tagged with four different epitopes to complement fls2 mutants, and find that the results are unpredictable but indicate impaired FLS2 function. (Summary by Mary Williams) Plant Physiol. 10.1104/pp.17.01700