Mitochondrial Flashes: Dump Superoxide and Dance with Protons Now

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2016 Sep 20;25(9):550-1. doi: 10.1089/ars.2016.6819.


Transient changes in the physiology of individual mitochondria have recently drawn much interest. The use of a circular permuted yellow fluorescent protein (cpYFP) to monitor mitochondrial flashes and their interpretation as superoxide bursts has added confusion, however. Reviewing mitochondrial flashes in this Forum, Wang et al. again deem cpYFP to be a specific and reversible superoxide indicator, dismissing evidence that purified cpYFP is insensitive to superoxide. This interpretation lacks reproducible evidence and conflicts with the parsimony principle. We offer a constructive, transparent pathway to reach definitive clarification of contradictory reports. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 25, 550-551.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction*
  • Protons*
  • Superoxides / metabolism*


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Protons
  • Superoxides