Ultrasensitive sensors reveal the spatiotemporal landscape of lactate metabolism in physiology and disease

Xie Li, Yinan Zhang, Lingyan Xu, Aoxue Wang, Yejun Zou, Ting Li, Li Huang, Weicai Chen, Shuning Liu, Kun Jiang, Xiuze Zhang, Dongmei Wang, Lijuan Zhang, Zhuo Zhang, Zeyi Zhang, Xianjun Chen, Wei Jia, Aihua Zhao, Xinfeng Yan, Haimeng ZhouLinyong Zhu, Xinran Ma, Zhenyu Ju, Weiping Jia, Congrong Wang*, Joseph Loscalzo, Yi Yang*, Yuzheng Zhao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Despite its central importance in cellular metabolism, many details remain to be determined regarding subcellular lactate metabolism and its regulation in physiology and disease, as there is sensitive spatiotemporal resolution of lactate distribution, and dynamics remains a technical challenge. Here, we develop and characterize an ultrasensitive, highly responsive, ratiometric lactate sensor, named FiLa, enabling the monitoring of subtle lactate fluctuations in living cells and animals. Utilizing FiLa, we demonstrate that lactate is highly enriched in mammalian mitochondria and compile an atlas of subcellular lactate metabolism that reveals lactate as a key hub sensing various metabolic activities. In addition, FiLa sensors also enable direct imaging of elevated lactate levels in diabetic mice and facilitate the establishment of a simple, rapid, and sensitive lactate assay for point-of-care clinical screening. Thus, FiLa sensors provide powerful, broadly applicable tools for defining the spatiotemporal landscape of lactate metabolism in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-211.e9
Number of pages21
JournalCell Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • highly responsive lactate sensors
  • lactate metabolism
  • point-of-care clinical screening
  • real-time monitoring
  • subcellular lactate landscape


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