FRET-based and other fluorescent proteinase probes

Hai Yu Hu, Stefanie Gehrig, Gregor Reither, Devaraj Subramanian, Marcus A. Mall, Oliver Plettenburg, Carsten Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The continuous detection of enzyme activities and their application in medical diagnostics is one of the challenges in the translational sciences. Proteinases represent one of the largest groups of enzymes in the human genome and many diseases are based on malfunctions of proteolytic activity. Fluorescent sensors may shed light on regular and irregular proteinase activity in vitro and in vivo and provide a deeper insight into the function of these enzymes and their role in pathophysiological processes. The focus of this review is on Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based proteinase sensors and reporters because these probes are most likely to provide quantitative data. The medical relevance of proteinases are discussed using lung diseases as a prominent example. Probe design and probe targeting are described and fluorescent probe development for disease-relevant proteinases, including matrix-metalloproteinases, cathepsins, caspases, and other selected proteinases, is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-281
Number of pages16
JournalBiotechnology Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Activity-based probes
  • Cathepsins
  • Cell targeting
  • Chronic inflammatory lung disease
  • Matrix metalloproteinases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine


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