Chymotrypsin-like serine proteinases are involved in the maintenance of cell viability

K.L. Moffitt, B. Walker, S. L. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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An increasing number of studies have implicated serine proteinases in the development of apoptosis. In this study, we assessed the ability of a set of highly specific irreversible inhibitors (activity probes), incorporating an a-amino alkane diphenyl phosphonate moiety, to modulate cell death. In an initial assessment of the cellular toxicity of these activity probes, we discovered that one example, N-a-tetramethylrhodamine phenylalanine diphenylphosphonate {TMR-PheP(OPh)2} caused a concentration-dependent decrease in the viability of HeLa and U251 mg cells. This reduced cell viability was associated with a time-dependent increase in caspase-3 activity, PARP cleavage and phosphatidylserine translocation, establishing apoptosis as the mechanism of cell death. SDS-PAGE analysis of cell lysates prepared from the HeLa cells treated with TMR-PheP(OPh)2, revealed the presence of a fluorescent band of molecular weight 58 kDa. Given that we have previously reported on the use of this type of activity probe to reveal active proteolytic species, we believe that we have identified a chymotrypsin-like serine proteinase activity integral to the maintenance of cell viability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2582-2589
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Early online date07 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • chymotrypsin
  • proteinases
  • apoptosis
  • serine
  • inhibitor
  • diphenylphosphonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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