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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 which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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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