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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2003 May 19;13(10):1653-6.

A green fluorescent chemosensor for amino acids provides a versatile high-throughput screening (HTS) assay for proteases.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Bern, Freiestrasse 3, Switzerland.


The water soluble fluorescein-based ligand 1 forms a non-fluorescent complex with Cu(2+). This complex serves as a fluorescent sensor for amino acids in the 10(-3) M concentration range. Since the signal response is very fast, the sensor can be used to detect the hydrolytic activity of various proteases (trypsin, chymotrypsin, subtilisin) on bovine serum albumin as a whole protein substrate, and more generally to follow reactions releasing or removing free amino acids, in real time.

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