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Noninvasive optical detection of Granzyme B from natural killer cells using enzyme-activated fluorogenic probes

By Tomasz Janiszewski, Sonia Kołt, Dion Kaiserman, Scott Snipas, Shuang Li, Julita Kulbacka, Jolanta Saczko, Niels Bovenschen, Guy Salvesen, Marcin Drag, Phillip I. Bird, Paulina Kasperkiewicz

Posted 17 Dec 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2019.12.16.875070

Despite many studies on the cytotoxic protease granzyme B, key aspects of its function remain unexplored due to the lack of selective probes for its activity. In this study, we fully mapped the substrate preferences of GrB using a set of unnatural amino acids, demonstrating previously unknown GrB substrate preferences that we then used to design novel substrate-based inhibitors and a GrB-activatable activity-based probe. We showed that our GrB probes react poorly with caspases, making them ideal for the in-depth analysis of GrB localization and function in cells. With our quenched fluorescence substrate, we determined GrB within the cytotoxic granules of human YT cells. When used as cytotoxic effectors, YT cells loaded with the GrB attack MDA-MB-231 target cells, and active GrB influences its target cell killing efficiency.

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