Development of inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry-based protease assays.
ABSTRACT Rapid, sensitive, and quantitative assays for proteases are important for drug development and in the diagnosis of disease. Here an assay for protease activity that uses inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) detection is described. Peptidic alpha-chymotrypsin substrates were synthesized containing a lanthanide ion chelate at the N terminus to provide a distinct elemental tag. A biotin label was appended to the C terminus of the peptide, allowing separation of uncleaved peptide from the enzymatic digestion. The enzyme activity was determined by quantifying the lanthanide ion signal of the peptide cleavage products by ICP-MS. Biotinylated substrates synthesized include Lu-DTPA-Asp-Leu-Leu-Val-Tyr approximately Asp-Lys(biotin) and Lu-DTPA-betaAla-betaAla-betaAla-betaAla-Gly-Ser-Ala-Tyr approximately Gly-Lys-Arg-Lys(biotin)-amide. Parallel assays with a commercially available fluorogenic substrate (Suc-AAPF-AMC) for alpha-chymotrypsin were performed for comparison. Using the ICP-MS assay, enzyme concentrations as low as 2pM could be readily detected, superior to the detection limit of an assay using the alpha-chymotrypsin fluorogenic substrate (Suc-AAPF-AMC). Furthermore, we demonstrated the use of this approach to detect chymotrypsin activity in HeLa cell lysates.
Article: Novel fluorogenic substrates for assaying retroviral proteases by resonance energy transfer.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The 11-kD protease (PR) encoded by the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) is essential for the correct processing of viral polyproteins and the maturation of infectious virus, and is therefore a target for the design of selective acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) therapeutics. To facilitate the identification of novel inhibitors of HIV-1 PR, as well as to permit detailed studies on the enzymology and inhibition of this enzyme, a continuous assay for its activity was developed that was based on intramolecular fluorescence resonance energy transfer (RET). The assay used the quenched fluorogenic substrate 4-(4-dimethylaminophenylazo)benzoic acid (DABCYL)--Ser Gln Asn Tyr Pro Ile Val Gln--5-[(2-aminoethyl)amino]naphthalene-1 sulfonic acid (EDANS), whose peptide sequence is derived from a natural processing site for HIV-1 PR. Incubation of recombinant HIV-1 PR with the fluorogenic substrate resulted in specific cleavage at the Tyr-Pro bond and a time-dependent increase in fluorescence intensity that was linearly related to the extent of substrate hydrolysis. An internally quenched fluorogenic substrate was also designed that was selectively cleaved by the related PR from avian myeloblastosis virus (AMV). The fluorescence quantum yields of the HIV-1 PR and AMV PR substrates in the RET assay increased by 40.0- and 34.4-fold, respectively, per mole of substrate cleaved. Because of its simplicity, rapidity, and precision in the determination of reaction rates required for kinetic analysis, this method offers many advantages over the commonly used high-performance liquid chromatography- or electrophoresis-based assays for peptide substrate hydrolysis by retroviral PRs.Science 03/1990; 247(4945):954-8. · 31.20 Impact Factor
Article: Measuring elastase, proteinase 3 and cathepsin G activities at the surface of human neutrophils with fluorescence resonance energy transfer substrates.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The neutrophil serine proteases (NSPs) elastase, proteinase 3 and cathepsin G are multifunctional proteases involved in pathogen destruction and the modulation of inflammatory processes. A fraction of secreted NSPs remains bound to the external plasma membrane, where they remain enzymatically active. This protocol describes the spectrofluorometric measurement of NSP activities on neutrophil surfaces using highly sensitive Abz-peptidyl-EDDnp fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) substrates that fully discriminate between the three human NSPs. We describe FRET substrate synthesis, neutrophil purification and handling, and kinetic experiments on quiescent and activated cells. These are used to measure subnanomolar concentrations of membrane-bound or free NSPs in low-binding microplates and to quantify the activities of individual proteases in biological fluids like expectorations and bronchoalveolar lavages. The whole procedure, including neutrophil purification and kinetic measurements, can be done in 4-5 h and should not be longer because of the lifetime of neutrophils. Using this protocol will help identify the contributions of individual NSPs to the development of inflammatory diseases and may reveal these proteases to be targets for therapeutic inhibitors.Nature Protocol 02/2008; 3(6):991-1000. · 8.36 Impact Factor
Article: Rapid and general profiling of protease specificity by using combinatorial fluorogenic substrate libraries.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A method is presented for the preparation and use of fluorogenic peptide substrates that allows for the configuration of general substrate libraries to rapidly identify the primary and extended specificity of proteases. The substrates contain the fluorogenic leaving group 7-amino-4-carbamoylmethylcoumarin (ACC). Substrates incorporating the ACC leaving group show kinetic profiles comparable to those with the traditionally used 7-amino-4-methylcoumarin (AMC) leaving group. The bifunctional nature of ACC allows for the efficient production of single substrates and substrate libraries by using 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl (Fmoc)-based solid-phase synthesis techniques. The approximately 3-fold-increased quantum yield of ACC over AMC permits reduction in enzyme and substrate concentrations. As a consequence, a greater number of substrates can be tolerated in a single assay, thus enabling an increase in the diversity space of the library. Soluble positional protease substrate libraries of 137, 180 and 6,859 members, possessing amino acid diversity at the P4-P3-P2-P1 and P4-P3-P2 positions, respectively, were constructed. Employing this screening method, we profiled the substrate specificities of a diverse array of proteases, including the serine proteases thrombin, plasmin, factor Xa, urokinase-type plasminogen activator, tissue plasminogen activator, granzyme B, trypsin, chymotrypsin, human neutrophil elastase, and the cysteine proteases papain and cruzain. The resulting profiles create a pharmacophoric portrayal of the proteases to aid in the design of selective substrates and potent inhibitors.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2000; 97(14):7754-9. · 9.68 Impact Factor