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Department of Pharmacology

Taylor, C, Rossi, A

Synthetic Ca2+ indicators are widely used to report changes in free [Ca2+], usually in the cytosol but also within organelles. Mag-Fluo-4, loaded into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by incubating cells with Mag-Fluo-4 AM, has been used to measure changes in free [Ca2+] within the ER, where the free [Ca2+] is estimated to be between 100 µM and 1 mM. Many results are consistent with Mag-Fluo-4 reliably reporting changes in free [Ca2+] within the ER, but the results are difficult to reconcile with the affinity of Mag-Fluo-4 for Ca2+ measured in vitro (KDCa 22 µM). Using an antibody to quench the fluorescence of indicator that leaked from the ER, we established that the affinity of Mag-Fluo-4 within the ER is much lower (KDCa 1 mM) than that measured in vitro. We show that partially de-esterified Mag-Fluo-4 has reduced affinity for Ca2+, suggesting that incomplete de-esterification of Mag-Fluo-4 AM within the ER provides indicators with affinities for Ca2+ that are both appropriate for the ER lumen and capable of reporting a wide range of free [Ca2+].

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Published date: 
27 February 2020 (Accepted for publication)
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Publication type: 
Journal articles
Journal name: 
Cell Calcium
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