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Methods Enzymol. 2012;505:445-68. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-388448-0.00031-0.

Illuminating mobile zinc with fluorescence from cuvettes to live cells and tissues.

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Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.


With the aid of chemoselective sensors, fluorescence microscopy has emerged as an indispensable tool to visualize the distribution and dynamics of various biologically important molecules in live specimens. Motivated by our interest in understanding the chemistry and biology of mobile zinc underlying its physiological and pathological roles, over the past decade, our laboratory has developed an extensive library of zinc fluorescence probes. In this chapter, we provide essential information about our sensor toolbox in order to assist investigators interested to apply our constructs to study various aspects of mobile zinc biology. We illustrate their use with several examples of imaging both exogenous and endogenous mobile zinc in live cells and tissues using various versions of fluorescence microscopy, including confocal and two-photon microscopy.

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