Practical Aspects of Fluorescence Analysis of Free Zinc Ion in Biological Systems: pZn for the Biologist
The biology of zinc has enjoyed a dramatic growth in attention over the last 20 years or so, as it has become apparent that zinc plays many roles in living systems in addition to serving as an enzymatic cofactor. At the same time, tools for studying zinc biology (mainly based on fluorescence) have been developed by us and others which have greatly aided our understanding of zinc in living systems of all kinds. However, zinc is maintained at very low free concentrations in biological systems, which makes the study of zinc biology challenging. In this chapter we confront some of these challenges and provide best practices for preparing zinc solutions and measuring zinc concentrations.