- Reactive oxygen species are key factors that strongly affect the cellular redox state and regulate various physiological and cellular phenomena. To monitor changes in the redox state, we previously developed fluorescent redox sensors named Re-Q, the emissions of which are quenched under reduced conditions. However, such fluorescent probes are unsuitable for use in the cells of photosynthetic organisms because they require photoexcitation that may change intracellular conditions and induce autofluorescence, primarily in chlorophylls.
- pH is one of the most critical physiological parameters determining vital cellular activities, such as photosynthetic performance. Fluorescent sensor proteins capable of measuring in situ pH in animal cells have been reported. However, these proteins require an excitation laser for pH measurement that may affect photosynthetic performance and induce autofluorescence from chlorophyll. As a result, it is not possible to measure the intracellular or intraorganelle pH changes in plants. To overcome this problem, we developed a luminescent pH sensor by fusing the luminescent protein Nanoluc to a uniquely designed pH-sensitive GFP variant protein.
- Thioredoxin (Trx) is a redox-responsive protein that modulates the activities of its target proteins mostly by reducing their disulfide bonds. In chloroplasts, five Trx isoforms (Trx-f, Trx-m, Trx-x, Trx-y, and Trx-z) regulate various photosynthesis-related enzymes with distinct target selectivity. To elucidate the determinants of the target selectivity of each Trx isoform, here we investigated the residues responsible for target recognition by Trx-f, the most well-studied chloroplast-resident Trx.