Small fluorescent molecules for monitoring autophagic flux

FEBS Lett. 2018 Feb;592(4):559-567. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.12979. Epub 2018 Feb 2.


We have developed two types of fluorescent probes, DALGreen and DAPGreen, for monitoring autophagy, that exhibit fluorescence upon being incorporated into autophagosomes. DALGreen enhances its fluorescence at acidic pH, which is favorable for monitoring late-phase autophagy, whereas DAPGreen remains fluorescent with almost constant brightness during the autophagic process. With these probes that stain autophagosomes as they are being formed, the real-time change of autophagic phenomena of live cells may be traced, which is an advantage over conventional approaches with small molecules that stain mature autophagosomes. The use of both dyes allows monitoring of the membrane dynamics of autophagy in any type of cell without the need for genetic engineering, and therefore, will be useful as a tool to study autophagic phenomena.

Keywords: autolysosome; autophagosome; autophagy; fluorescent probe.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagosomes / metabolism
  • Autophagy*
  • Cell Survival
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Imaging


  • Fluorescent Dyes