Innovative Tools for Molecular and Cell Biology

Innovative Tools for Molecular and Cell Biology


Fluorescent Probe for Specific Staining of Human iPS/ES Cells

Kyoto Probe 1 (KP-1)

Kyoto Probe 1

Kyoto Probe Fluorescence Spectrum

Fluorescence Spectra of KP-1

Kyoto Probe iPS-Colony Staining

iPS Colony Formed on Feeder Cells; Stained with KP-1.
A: Bright-field microscopy, B: Fluorescence microscopy

Kyoto Probe Mechanism

KP-1 Selectivity Depends on the Activity of ABC Transporters in the Cell Membrane
KP-1 is cell permeable and its subcellular localization is in mitochondria. Only mitochondria of human pluripotent stem cells are stained by KP-1. The staining properties of KP-1 are independent of the mitochondrial membrane potential. After cell differentiation, KP-1 is eliminated from cells by ABC transporters which are not active in pluripotent stem cells, and cells become non-fluorescent. Expression levels of ABC transporters are markedly higher in differentiated cells than in human pluripotent stem cells. (Cell Rep. 2014).

Kyoto Probe Different Colonies Staining

C & F: Colony of partially differentiated human iPS cells stained with KP-1. The surrounding region of the colony, where cells were not differentiated, was specifically stained.
D & G: Colony of human ES cells stained with KP-1.
E & H: Colony of partially differentiated human ES cells stained with KP-1. Differentiated cells were not stained.
(C, D, E: Bright-field microscopy; F, G, H: Fluorescence microscopy).

Flow Cytometry with Koyoto Probe

Staining Results of KP-1 with Various Human Somatic Cells
After staining with KP-1 human iPS cells can be isolated from somatic cells by flow cytometry, except neuronal cells. These results indicate that KP-1 is useful for monitoring a wide range of differentiation processes of human pluripotent stem cells, except neurogenesis.

Kyoto Probe FACS Analysis

FACS Analysis of Human iPS Cells
Left panel: When a mixture of human iPS cells and feeder cells were analyzed, most SSEA-4 positive cells were also positive to KP-1. SSEA-4 is a well-known cell surface marker for pluripotent stem cells.
Center and right panel: 99.18% of human iPS cells were stained by KP-1.


  • Kyoto Probe 1 (KP-1) distinguishes human iPS/ES cells from differentiated cells
  • KP-1 selects for human iPS/ES cells due to ABC transporter expression
  • For flow cytometry or live cell imaging
  • Staining during cultivation of the cells

Fluorescence Characteristics of KP-1

λex 515 nm
λem 529 nm
Φ 0.45


  • Kyoto Probe 1 [KP-1] – a small-molecule fluorescent compound – selectively labels human stem cells. Therefore, it is a highly appropriate tool for basic cell biology research and stem cell therapy. The selectivity results primarily from a distinct expression pattern of ABC transporters in human stem cells and from the transporter selectivity for KP-1. Expression of ABCB1 and ABCG2, both of which cause the efflux of KP-1, is repressed in human iPS/ES cells.

KP-1 Distinguishes Between Human iPSCs/ESCs and Differentiated Cells

Specific Staining of Human iPS/ES Cells by KP-1 - Basis for Selectivity

KP-1 is Suitable for Flow Cytometry and Live Cell Imaging

Isolation of Human iPS Cells by Flow Cytometry


  • For shipping and storage information please click on Order#.
Order# Description Amount Price Data Sheet
GC7001-01 Kyoto Probe 1 (KP-1) 10 μg×5 557,00 PDF
GC7001-02 Kyoto Probe 1 (KP-1) 10 μg×10 744,00 PDF
  • All prices are in EURO excl. VAT and shipping. Only available in Europe.


  • Kuo TF. et al.: Selective elimination of human pluripotent stem cells by a marine natural product derivative.
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 136 (28), pp 979-9801 (2014) Pubmed
  • Hirata N. et al.: A chemical probe that labels human pluripotent stem cells.
    Cell Rep., 6:1165-1174 (2014) Pubmed


  • GORYO Fluorescent Probes Catalog (PDF)