New light in flavin autofluorescence
AbstractOur attention was captured by the interesting debate on the identification of lipofuscins, lipofuscin-like lipopigments, or flavins as the responsible for intracellular autofluorescence (AF) detected in epithelial cancer stem cells when exciting at 480-490 nm. Evidence was provided leading to ascribe AF emission to flavins accumulating in cytoplasmic structures, bounded to membranes and bearing ATP-dependent ABCG2 transporters. Flavins were then proposed as an intrinsic AF biomarker of cancer stem cells, with advantageous implications on cell invasiveness and chemoresistance investigations. It is however worth recalling the huge amount of literature on flavins and NAD(P)H as AF biomarkers of cell energetic metabolism and redox state, an aspect that should not be overlooked in the renewed course to extend the potential of flavins as AF biomarkers, entailing also a recent proposal of Flavin-based fluorescent proteins as substitutes of Green fluorescent proteins.
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Copyright (c) 2015 A.C. Croce, G. Bottiroli
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