Cyanobacteriochromes (CBCRs) are distantly related to the red/far-red responsive phytochromes. Red/green-type CBCRs are widely distributed among various cyanobacteria. The red/green-type CBCRs covalently bind phycocyanobilin (PCB) and show red/green reversible photoconversion. Recent studies revealed that some red/green-type CBCRs from chlorophyll d-bearing cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina covalently bind not only PCB but also biliverdin (BV). The BV-binding CBCRs show far-red/orange reversible photoconversion. Here, we identified another CBCR (AM1_C0023g2) from A. marina that also covalently binds not only PCB but also BV with high binding efficiencies, although BV chromophore is unstable in the presence of urea. Replacement of Ser334 with Gly resulted in significant improvement in the yield of the BV-binding holoprotein, thereby ensuring that the mutant protein is a fine platform for future development of optogenetic switches. We also succeeded in detecting near-infrared fluorescence from mammalian cells harboring PCB-binding AM1_C0023g2 whose fluorescence quantum yield is 3.0%. Here the PCB-binding holoprotein is shown as a platform for future development of fluorescent probes
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