Fluorogenic substrate turnover in single living cells

Histochem J. 1976 Jul;8(4):341-50. doi: 10.1007/BF01003822.


Intracellular diffusion properties and enzyme activities in single living cells can be analysed by means of fluorogenic substrates that diffuse into the cells where they are converted into a fluorescent product by an enzymic reaction. The reaction-kinetic analysis of this process as a system of consecutive reactions provides information on the diffusion of the substrate into the cells, on intracellular enzyme activities and on the efflux of the fluorescent product. Separation of diffusion and enzyme-mediated processes is obtained by inducing specific changes of the cellular membrane using gramicidin D. A model for the functional interpretation of the experimental findings is proposed. Application of this method as a viability test for freshly prepared and frozen platelets is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Fluoresceins / metabolism*
  • Gramicidin / pharmacology
  • HeLa Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • L Cells / metabolism*
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence / methods


  • Fluoresceins
  • Gramicidin