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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Dec;3(12):906-18.

Creating new fluorescent probes for cell biology.

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Department of Pharmacology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, 18-496, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Fluorescent probes are one of the cornerstones of real-time imaging of live cells and a powerful tool for cell biologists. They provide high sensitivity and great versatility while minimally perturbing the cell under investigation. Genetically-encoded reporter constructs that are derived from fluorescent proteins are leading a revolution in the real-time visualization and tracking of various cellular events. Recent advances include the continued development of 'passive' markers for the measurement of biomolecule expression and localization in live cells, and 'active' indicators for monitoring more complex cellular processes such as small-molecule-messenger dynamics, enzyme activation and protein-protein interactions.

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