Mitochondria are found in eukaryotic cells, where they make up as much as 10% of the cell volume. They are pleomorphic organelles, with structural variations depending on cell type, cell-cycle stage, and intracellular metabolic state. The key function of mitochondria is energy production through oxidative phosphorylation and lipid oxidation. We have developed three Molecular Probes® technologies for imaging mitochondrial structure in live or fixed cells; additional probes are available to investigate mitochondrial function and its influence on cellular metabolism and health.

See probes for mitochondrial health

CellLight® reagents for mitochondria

Use CellLight® reagents when you want to label mitochondria independent of their membrane potential or follow the dynamics of behavior in live cells. CellLight® proteins can be multiplexed with other fluorescent probes for analysis in live cells or after fixation for colocalization studies. These ready-to-use constructs use the leader sequence of E1 alpha-pyruvate dehydrogenase (3.1 kDa) to target mitochondria with fluorescent fusion proteins. Introducing CellLight® reagents involves a simple transfection step, and they work like cell stains with minimal toxicity or chemical disruption.

CellLight® Mitochondria-RFP Enlarge image

MitoTracker® probes for live cells

MitoTracker® probes are cationic dyes that are selectively sequestered by mitochondria in live cells because of their charge—like other mitochondrial dyes, they depend on the membrane potential for loading (for potential-independent labeling of mitochondria in live cells, see CellLight® reagents above). MitoTracker® dyes are offered in a range of wavelengths that can all be used for mitochondrial localization in multicolor experiments. Retention after cell fixation is variable, with dyes such as MitoTracker® Deep Red being well retained and MitoTracker® Red being lost. Use the selection guide to find the dye with the right combination of properties for your experiment.

MitoTracker® Green FM

Conjugates for fixed-cell staining

Mitochondria can be labeled in fixed cells using fluorescent antibody conjugates directed against mitochondrial proteins. Mouse anti–Complex V d-subunit monoclonal antibody can be used to label mitochondria in human, bovine, mouse, or rat models. Complex V, also called F1F0 ATPase or ATP synthase, is responsible for ATP production in oxidative phosphorylation and can work in reverse as a proton-pumping ATPase. We offer a suite of tools for secondary detection in immunofluorescence.

Mouse anti–ATP Synthase Subunit IF1 Monoclonal AntibodyEnlarge image
Selection guides
 
Readout
 Expression of fluorescent fusion protein
Target
 Labels pyruvate dehydrogenase in mitochondria
Common filter set
FITC
TRITC
Labels
GFP
RFP
Ex/Em (nm)
488/520
555/584
Signal-to-noise ratio
Photostability
Multiplexing
Yes
Yes
Live cells
Yes
Yes
Fixed cells
No
No
Fixable
Yes
Yes
Platform
Imaging 
Imaging 
Format
1 mL
1 mL
Cat. No.
 
Readout
Fluorescent staining of mitochondria
Target
MitoTracker™ Dyes selectively label mitochondria based on membrane potential
Common filter set
FITC
TRITC
Texas Red®
Cy®5
Cy®5
Labels
MitoTracker® Green
MitoTracker® Orange
MitoTracker® Red
MitoTracker® Red FM
MitoTracker® Deep Red
Ex/Em (nm)
490/516
554/576
579/599
581/644
644/665
Signal-to-noise ratio
Photostability
Multiplexing
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Live cells
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Fixed cells
No
No
No
No
No
Fixable
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Platform
Imaging 
 Imaging
Imaging 
Imaging 
 Imaging
Format
20 x 50 μg
20 x 50 μg
20 x 50 μg
20 x 50 μg
20 x 50 μg
Cat. No.
 
Readout
Fixed-cell mitochondrial staining 
Target
Complex V 
Common filter set
NA
Labels
Requires secondary detection
Ex/Em (nm)
NA
Signal-to-noise ratio
NA
Photostability
NA
Multiplexing
Yes
Live cells
No
Fixed cells
Yes
Fixable
Yes
Platform
Imaging 
Format
100 μg
Cat. No.
For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.