Theranostics 2012; 2(2):127-138. doi:10.7150/thno.3476


Analysis of Protease Activity Using Quantum Dots and Resonance Energy Transfer

Gae Baik Kim, Young-Pil Kim

Department of Life Science, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Republic of Korea

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Kim GB, Kim YP. Analysis of Protease Activity Using Quantum Dots and Resonance Energy Transfer. Theranostics 2012; 2(2):127-138. doi:10.7150/thno.3476. Available from

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This review demonstrates the detection of protease activity based on the energy transfer of quantum dots (QDs). By incorporation of varying protease substrates into designed QD probes both in fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) system, proteolytic activity led to changes in the energy transfer efficiency. Especially due to the superior properties of QDs, it can be served as an excellent probe for a multiplexed and high-throughput protease assay with high sensitivity. It is anticipated that the QD-based FRET/BRET probes will have a great potential for dissecting the fundamental roles of proteases and designing potential protease inhibitors as therapeutic drugs in biology and nanomedicine.

Keywords: protease, quantum dot, energy transfer, BRET, FRET, multiplex, nanoparticle, luciferase, quencher