Intracellular pH values are some of the most important factors that govern biological processes and the acid-base homeostasis in cells, body fluids and organs sustains the normal operations of the body. Subcellular organelles including the acidic lysosomes and the alkalescent mitochondria undergo various processes such as intracellular digestion, ATP production and apoptosis. Due to their precise imaging capabilities, fluorescent probes have attracted great attention for the illustration of pH modulated processes. Furthermore, based on the unique acidic extracellular environment of acidic lysosomes, fluorescent probes can specifically be activated in cancer cells or tumors. In this review, recently reported lysosome and mitochondria specific pH imaging probes as well as pH-activatable cancer cell-targetable probes have been discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 21472118, 21672131), the Program for the Top Young and Middle-aged Innovative Talents of Higher Learning Institutions of Shanxi (2013802), the Talents Support Program of Shanxi Province (2014401), and Shanxi Province Outstanding Youth Fund (no. 2014021002). J. Y. is thankful for a grant from the National Creative Research Initiative Programs of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean Government (MSIP) (no. 2012R1A3A2048814)
© 2017 The Royal Society of Chemistry.