Proteases are a large grouping of biological molecules that play pivotal regulatory roles in most physiological processes required for life.
Unregulated protease activity (which occurs when the normal control of their action is lost) can be a trigger of many important human diseases thereby making active proteases important.
Therapeutic targets and biomarkers of disease activity
Standard methods of detection and quantification of active proteases are based on the hydrolysis of chromogenic or fluorogenic peptide substrates. Biological samples contain multiple activities with the potential to hydrolyse these substrates and are not sufficiently selective for biomarker studies.
Typical antibody-based systems e.g. ELISA (Enzyme-linked ImmunoSorbent Assay) will only detect total protein with no indication of the fraction associated with the active form of the enzyme.
ProAxsis has developed a range of unique molecules, known as ProteaseTags®, which have the capacity to rapidly and selectively bind active proteases, including those which are biomarkers of diagnostic and prognostic value.
ProteaseTags® rapidly provide a visual readout of active proteases in complex biological samples with a high level of specificity and selectivity. In diseases characterised by abnormal protease action ProteaseTag® test systems have the potential to be incorporated into Point of Care tests, Companion Diagnostics, and activity-based immunoassays.