Tissue-restricted bioreactions can be utilized to design chemical-biological tools and prodrugs. We have developed a fluorescent-substrate-library-based enzyme discovery approach to screen tissue extracts for enzymatic activities of interest. Assay-positive candidate proteins were identified by diced electrophoresis gel assay followed by peptide mass fingerprinting. We discovered that pyruvyl anilide is specifically hydrolyzed by carboxylesterase 2 (CES2), which is predominantly localized in the liver and kidney. We show that the pyruvyl targeting group/CES2 enzyme pair can be used to deliver the 7-amino-4-methylcoumarin fluorophore specifically to the liver and kidney in vivo. Our screening approach should be useful to find other masking group/enzyme pairs suitable for development of fluorescent substrates and prodrugs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry