Protease Probes Built from DNA: Multispectral Fluorescent DNA–Peptide Conjugates as Caspase Chemosensors


  • This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (GM067201). Y.N.T. acknowledges an A*STAR NSS scholarship.


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Shaken, not stirred: A novel design for protease sensors is described, in which peptides are conjugated to a DNA backbone carrying multiple fluorophores. The multispectral oligodeoxyfluoroside (ODF) fluorophores are strongly quenched by a dabcyl group at the end of each peptide. In vitro and cellular selectivity assays showed that a mixture of three sensors could be used to identify different caspase activities by the fluorescence outcome (see picture).