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Acidic-pH-activatable fluorescence probes for visualizing exocytosis dynamics.


Live imaging of exocytosis dynamics is crucial for a precise spatiotemporal understanding of secretion phenomena, but current approaches have serious limitations. We designed and synthesized small-molecular fluorescent probes that were chemically optimized for sensing acidic intravesicular pH values, and established that they can be used to sensitively and reliably visualize vesicular dynamics following stimulation. This straightforward technique for the visualization of exocytosis as well as endocytosis/reacidification processes with high spatiotemporal precision is expected to be a powerful tool for investigating dynamic cellular phenomena involving changes in the pH value.