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Sensors 2013, 13(12), 16736-16758; doi:10.3390/s131216736
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Illumination of the Spatial Order of Intracellular pH by Genetically Encoded pH-Sensitive Sensors

1,2
1 Laboratory of Biotechnology, National Institute of Chemistry, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia 2 Center of Excellence EN-FIST, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Received: 12 November 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 27 November 2013 / Published: 5 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluorescent Biosensors)
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Abstract

Fluorescent proteins have been extensively used for engineering genetically encoded sensors that can monitor levels of ions, enzyme activities, redox potential, and metabolites. Certain fluorescent proteins possess specific pH-dependent spectroscopic features, and thus can be used as indicators of intracellular pH. Moreover, concatenated pH-sensitive proteins with target proteins pin the pH sensors to a definite location within the cell, compartment, or tissue. This study provides an overview of the continually expanding family of pH-sensitive fluorescent proteins that have become essential tools for studies of pH homeostasis and cell physiology. We describe and discuss the design of intensity-based and ratiometric pH sensors, their spectral properties and pH-dependency, as well as their performance. Finally, we illustrate some examples of the applications of pH sensors targeted at different subcellular compartments.
Keywords: pH homeostasis; intensity-based pH-sensitive sensor; ratiometric transgene pH indicator; flow cytometry; microscopy pH homeostasis; intensity-based pH-sensitive sensor; ratiometric transgene pH indicator; flow cytometry; microscopy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Benčina, M. Illumination of the Spatial Order of Intracellular pH by Genetically Encoded pH-Sensitive Sensors. Sensors 2013, 13, 16736-16758.

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