Calcium (Ca2+) is important for signal transduction pathways.
Proton (pH) Imaging
The intracellular proton (H+) concentration (pH), as well as intracellular calcium, is important in the regulation of cellular functions including growth, differentiation, motility, exocytosis and endocytosis. To study this in more detail, measurements of the intracellular pH of resting cells can be done and the pH fluctuations inside cells after environmental perturbations can be followed.
Reference: Hai-Jui Lin, Petr Herman, and Joseph R. Lakowicz. "Fluorescence Lifetime-Resolved pH Imaging of Living Cells". Cytometry Part A 52A:77–89 (2003).
Zinc (Zn2+) is involved in enzyme catalysis, protein structure, protein-protein interactions, and protein-oligonucleotide interactions. Zinc interacts with extracellular binding sites, which are likely to include binding sites involved in the subsequent translocation of this ion to the cell interior. Inside the cell, Zinc binds to cytosolic and organelle binding sites or is taken up by intracellular organelles.
Sodium (Na+) is important in the signal transduction in the central nerve system.
Many enzymes (like kinases) require the presence of magnesium Mg2+ ions for their catalytic action, especially enzymes utilising ATP.
Chloride (Cl-) plays a role in the central nervous system.
Potassium (K+) plays a role in cell growth and cell viability.
Indicators for Ion Imaging by FLIM
Bis-BTC (heavy metals)
Calcium-crimson (Calcium, orange excitation)
Calcium-green (Calcium, blue excitation)
Carboxy-SNAFL-2 (cytosol pH)
DM-NERF dextrans (lysosoml pH)
LysoSensor DND-160 (lysosomal pH)
LysoSensor probe (pH)
Newport Green DCF (Zinc)
OG-514 carboxylic acid dextrans (lysosoml pH)
Quin-2 (Calcium, blue excitation)