Use of enhanced green fluorescent protein to determine pepsin at high sensitivity

Journal Article
, Ajamaluddin Malik, Rainer Rudolph & Brigitte Söhling . 2005
Magazine \ Newspaper: 
Analytical Biochemistry
Volume Number: 
Publication Abstract: 

A fluorometric assay for pepsin and pepsinogen was developed using enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) as a substrate. Acid denaturation of EGFP resulted in a complete loss of fluorescence that was completely reversible on neutralization. In the proteolytic assay procedure, acid-denatured EGFP was digested by pepsin or activated pepsinogen. After neutralization, the remaining amount of undigested EGFP refolded and was determined by fluorescence. Under standard digestion conditions, 4.8-24.0 ng pepsin or pepsinogen was used. Using porcine pepsin as a standard, 38+/-6.7 ng EGFP was digested per min-1 ng pepsin-1. Activated porcine pepsinogen revealed a similar digestion rate (37.2+/-5.2 ng EGFP min-1 ng activated pepsinogen-1). The sensitivity of the proteolysis assay depended on the time of digestion and the temperature. Increasing temperature and incubation time allowed quantification of pepsin or pepsinogen in a sample even in the picogram range. The pepsin-catalyzed EGFP digestion showed typical Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Km and Vmax values were determined for the pepsin and activated pepsinogen. Digestion of EGFP by pepsin revealed distinct cleavage sites, as analyzed by SDS-PAGE.