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Activity-Based Probes for the Study of Proteases: Recent Advances and Developments

Authors

  • Sevnur Serim,

    1. Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich (CIPSM), Lehrstuhl für Chemie der Biopolymere, Technische Universität München, Weihenstephaner Berg 3, 85354 Freising (Germany)
    2. Graduiertenzentrum Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, Alte Akademie 8, 85354 Freising (Germany)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this article.

  • Ute Haedke,

    1. Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich (CIPSM), Lehrstuhl für Chemie der Biopolymere, Technische Universität München, Weihenstephaner Berg 3, 85354 Freising (Germany)
    2. Graduiertenzentrum Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, Alte Akademie 8, 85354 Freising (Germany)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this article.

  • Dr. Steven H. L. Verhelst

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich (CIPSM), Lehrstuhl für Chemie der Biopolymere, Technische Universität München, Weihenstephaner Berg 3, 85354 Freising (Germany)
    • Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich (CIPSM), Lehrstuhl für Chemie der Biopolymere, Technische Universität München, Weihenstephaner Berg 3, 85354 Freising (Germany)
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Abstract

Proteases are important targets for the treatment of human disease. Several protease inhibitors have failed in clinical trials due to a lack of in vivo specificity, indicating the need for studies of protease function and inhibition in complex, disease-related models. The tight post-translational regulation of protease activity complicates protease analysis by traditional proteomics methods. Activity-based protein profiling is a powerful technique that can resolve this issue. It uses small-molecule tools—activity-based probes—to label and analyze active enzymes in lysates, cells, and whole animals. Over the last twelve years, a wide variety of protease activity-based probes have been developed. These synthetic efforts have enabled techniques ranging from real-time in vivo imaging of protease activity to high-throughput screening of uncharacterized proteases. This Review introduces the general principles of activity-based protein profiling and describes the recent advancements in probe design and analysis techniques, which have increased the knowledge of protease biology and will aid future protease drug discovery.

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