Queen's University

A cell surface display fluorescent biosensor for measuring MMP14 activity in real-time

Schematic diagrams and graphs from report entitled "A cell surface display fluorescent biosensor for measuring MMP14 activity in real-time", by Queen's Researcher Alexander Braun.Despite numerous recent advances in imaging technologies, one continuing challenge for cell biologists and microscopists is the visualization and measurement of endogenous proteins as they function within living cells. Achieving this goal will provide a tool that investigators can use to associate cellular outcomes with the behavior and activity of many well-studied target proteins. Here, we describe the development of a plasmid-based fluorescent biosensor engineered to measure the location and activity of matrix metalloprotease-14 (MMP14). The biosensor design uses fluorogen-activating protein technology coupled with a MMP14-selective protease sequence to generate a binary, “switch-on” fluorescence reporter capable of measuring MMP14 location, activity, and temporal dynamics. The MMP14-fluorogen activating protein biosensor approach is applicable to both short- and long-term imaging modalities and contains an adaptable module that can be used to study many membrane-bound proteases. This MMP14 biosensor promises to serve as a tool for the advancement of a broad range of investigations targeting MMP14 activity during cell migration in health and disease. (Read More)