A Dual-Enzyme Amplification Loop for the Sensitive Biosensing of Endopeptidases

Chuanwen Zhou, Xiaomin Li, Sze Wing Tang, Chunxi Liu, Michael H. W. Lam, Yun Wah Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A rapid and sensitive approach for the detection of endopeptidases via a new analyte-triggered mutual emancipation of linker-immobilized enzymes (AMELIE) mechanism has been developed and demonstrated using a matrix metallopeptidase, a collagenase, as the model endopeptidase analyte. AMELIE involves an autocatalytic loop created by a pair of selected enzymes immobilized on solid substrates via linkers with specific sites that can be proteolyzed by one another. These bound enzymes are spatially separated so that they cannot act upon their corresponding substrates until the introduction of the target endopeptidase analyte that can also cleave one of the linkers. This triggers the self-sustained loop of enzymatic activities to emancipate all the immobilized enzymes. In this proof of concept, signal transduction was achieved by a colorimetric horseradish peroxidase–tetramethylbenzidine (HRP-TMB-H2O2) reaction with HRP that are also being immobilized by one of the linkers. The pair of immobilized enzymes were collagenase and alginate lyase, and they were immobilized by an alginate linker and a short peptide chain containing the amino acid sequence of Leu-Gly-Pro-Ala for collagenase. A detection limit of 2.5 pg collagenase mL–1 with a wide linear range up to 4 orders of magnitude was achieved. The AMELIE biosensor can detect extracellular collagenase in the supernatant of various bacteria cultures, with a sensitivity as low as 103 cfu mL–1 of E. coli. AMELIE can readily be adapted to provide the sensitive detection of other endopeptidases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25592-25600
Number of pages9
JournalACS Omega
Issue number28
Early online date7 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2023

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