Fluorescent probes for real-time measurement of nitric oxide in living cells
Nitric oxide (NO) is an important signaling molecule in biology. Both NO excess and insufficiency have been implicated in numerous physiological and pathological conditions. In order to study the diverse biological roles of NO in cells and tissues, many techniques have been developed for assaying NO. Recently, new generations of fluorescent probes have become indispensible tools for the study of NO biology because of their sensitivity, selectivity, spatiotemporal resolution, and experimental feasibility. Rational application of these probes in the study requires the understanding of the molecular mechanism that the probes are involved in. In this review, we will present an arsenal of fluorescent probes used to detect NO in living cells and animal tissues. We will also discuss the molecular mechanisms, actualities and prospects of fluorescent probes in detecting NO in cell biology.