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Nat Chem Biol. 2009 Sep;5(9):628-30. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.196. Epub 2009 Aug 2.

Membrane-bound FRET probe visualizes MMP12 activity in pulmonary inflammation.

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  • 1[1] Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany. [2] Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory and University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.


MMP12 is a metalloproteinase implicated in inflammation. To monitor its activity, we synthesized a membrane-targeted reporter (LaRee1) based on Foerster resonance energy transfer (FRET). Unlike existing sensors, LaRee1 detects MMP12 activity by loss of FRET plus internalization of the lipidated fragment. In bronchoalveolar lavages from a mouse model of pulmonary inflammation, LaRee1 detected MMP12 activity at the surface of activated macrophages. LaRee1 may become a powerful tool for monitoring lung disease.

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