Sensors and regulators of intracellular pH

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Jan;11(1):50-61. doi: 10.1038/nrm2820. Epub 2009 Dec 9.


Protons dictate the charge and structure of macromolecules and are used as energy currency by eukaryotic cells. The unique function of individual organelles therefore depends on the establishment and stringent maintenance of a distinct pH. This, in turn, requires a means to sense the prevailing pH and to respond to deviations from the norm with effective mechanisms to transport, produce or consume proton equivalents. A dynamic, finely tuned balance between proton-extruding and proton-importing processes underlies pH homeostasis not only in the cytosol, but in other cellular compartments as well.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Organelles / metabolism*
  • Protons
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases / metabolism*


  • Protons
  • Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases