Fluorescent ratiometric pH indicator SypHer2: Applications in neuroscience and regenerative biology

Mikhail E. Matlashov, Yulia A. Bogdanova, Galina V. Ermakova, Natalia M. Mishina, Yulia G. Ermakova, Evgeny S. Nikitin, Pavel M. Balaban, Shigeo Okabe, Sergey Lukyanov, Grigori Enikolopov, Andrey G. Zaraisky, Vsevolod V. Belousov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Background SypHer is a genetically encoded fluorescent pH-indicator with a ratiometric readout, suitable for measuring fast intracellular pH shifts. However, the relatively low brightness of the indicator limits its use. Methods Here we designed a new version of pH-sensor called SypHer-2, which has up to three times brighter fluorescence in cultured mammalian cells compared to the SypHer. Results Using the new indicator we registered activity-associated pH oscillations in neuronal cell culture. We observed prominent transient neuronal cytoplasm acidification that occurs in parallel with calcium entry. Furthermore, we monitored pH in presynaptic and postsynaptic termini by targeting SypHer-2 directly to these compartments and revealed marked differences in pH dynamics between synaptic boutons and dendritic spines. Finally, we were able to reveal for the first time the intracellular pH drop that occurs within an extended region of the amputated tail of the Xenopus laevis tadpole before it begins to regenerate. Conclusions SypHer2 is suitable for quantitative monitoring of pH in biological systems of different scales, from small cellular subcompartments to animal tissues in vivo. General significance The new pH-sensor will help to investigate pH-dependent processes in both in vitro and in vivo studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2318-2328
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 5 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Genetically encoded sensors
  • Imaging
  • Neurons
  • Regeneration
  • Synapse
  • SypHer2
  • pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Fluorescent ratiometric pH indicator SypHer2: Applications in neuroscience and regenerative biology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this