Quantitative Imaging of Labile Zn2+ in the Golgi Apparatus Using a Localizable Small-Molecule Fluorescent Probe

Toshiyuki Kowada, Tomomi Watanabe, Yuta Amagai, Rong Liu, Momo Yamada, Hiroto Takahashi, Toshitaka Matsui, Kenji Inaba, Shin Mizukami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Fluorescent Zn2+ probes used for the quantitative analysis of labile Zn2+ concentration ([Zn2+]) in target organelles are crucial for understanding the role of Zn2+ in biological processes. Although several fluorescent Zn2+ probes have been developed to date, there is still a lack of consensus concerning the [Zn2+] in intracellular organelles. In this study, we describe the development of ZnDA-1H, a small-molecule fluorescent probe for Zn2+, which exhibits less pH sensitivity, high Zn2+ selectivity, and large fluorescence enhancement upon binding to Zn2+. Through protein labeling technology, ZnDA-1H was precisely targeted in various intracellular organelles, such as the nucleus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, and Golgi apparatus. ZnDA-1H exhibited a reversible fluorescence response toward labile Zn2+ in these organelles in live cells. Using this probe, the [Zn2+] in the Golgi apparatus was estimated to be 25 ± 1 nM, suggesting that labile Zn2+ plays a physiological role in the secretory pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1521-1531.e8
JournalCell chemical biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 17


  • Golgi apparatus
  • Zn
  • fluorescence imaging
  • quantitative analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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