Visualizing ATP in a Cell

Jul 8, 2020 | Cell Culture Techniques

Genetically encoded biosensors have become popular and powerful LIVE-cell reporters in recent years (see reference here). These biosensors can be incorporated into a variety of human inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-derived cell types (such as neurons, glial cells, kidney cells, and cardiomyocytes, just to name a few). Previously, we discussed the biosensors and how they are used in research (here). TempoATP biosensor (image shown above) is a LIVE-cell reporter that tracks intracellular ATP levels in real time (from seconds to hours).

Examples of where mitochondrial ATP productions are important?

#1: Research from neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s) has shown the importance of mitochondria in neuronal survival. In other words, ageing and neurodegeneration depend on mitochondrial health (see reference here).

#2: Cancer research has shown that mitochondrial production of ATP is associated with calcium homeostasis. Furthermore, tumorigenesis depends on ATP production and mitochondrial function (see reference here).

#3: Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are key characteristics found in the ageing human skin (see reference here). Some of the notable phenotypes are: wrinkle formation, hair loss, uneven pigmentation, inflammation, photo-aging, and wound healing impairment (see reference here).

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