Faculty Advisor

Dr. Carey Southern


Inflammatory caspases are important enzymes in the initial immune response to pathogens. A common method of studying caspase activity is through the use of fluorogenic assays, in which the cleavage of a substrate by an enzyme results in the emission of fluorescence. Fluorogenic assays require the use of fluorophores: molecules that will fluoresce upon the cleavage of a substrate. Different fluorophores have different characteristics, and these characteristics can be analyzed in order to determine which fluorophores will be most suitable for activity assays. Two commercially available fluorophores were compared for use in fluorogenic assays of inflammatory caspases: MCA and EDANS. MCA was determined to be the best overall, while EDANS provided better discrimination from background biological fluorescence.