Design of an Activity-Based Probe for Human Neutrophil Elastase: Implementation of the Lossen Rearrangement To Induce Förster Resonance Energy Transfers.
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Human neutrophil elastase is an important regulator of the immune response and plays a role in host defense mechanisms and further physiological processes. The uncontrolled activity of this serine protease may cause severe tissue alterations and impair inflammatory states. The design of an activity-based probe for human neutrophil elastase reported herein relies on a sulfonyloxyphthalimide moiety as a new type of warhead that is linker-connected to a coumarin fluorophore. The inhibitory potency of the activity-based probe was assessed against several serine and cysteine proteases, and the selectivity for human neutrophil elastase (Ki = 6.85 nM) was determined. The adequate fluorescent tag of the probe allowed for the in-gel fluorescence detection of human neutrophil elastase in the low nanomolar range. The coumarin moiety and the anthranilic acid function of the probe, produced in the course of a Lossen rearrangement, were part of two different Förster resonance energy transfers.