Monitoring Proteolytic Activity in Real Time: A New World of Opportunities for Biosensors


Proteases play a pivotal role in several biological processes, from digestion, cell proliferation, and differentiation to fertility. Deregulation of protease metabolism can result in several pathological conditions (i.e., cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and others). Therefore, monitoring proteolytic activity in real time could have a fundamental role in the early diagnosis of these diseases. Herein, the main approaches used to develop biosensors for monitoring proteolytic activity are reviewed. A comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach is provided along with a discussion of their importance and promising opportunities for the early diagnosis of severe diseases. This new era of biosensors can be characterized by the ability to control and monitor biological processes, ultimately improving the potential of personalized medicine.



subject category

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology


Oliveira-Silva, R; Sousa-Jeronimo, M; Botequim, D; Silva, NJO; Paulo, PMR; Prazeres, DMF

our authors


R.O-S. acknowledges Dr Peter Zijlstra and Dr Fabio Trindade for all the fruitful discussions and support. The authors also acknowledge the FCT - Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, grant numbers UIDB/04565/2020, UIDP/50011/2020, and UID/QUI/00100/2019, project CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials (grant nos UIDB/50011/2020 & UIDP/50011/2020) and Programa Operacional Regional de Lisboa 2020, grant number 007317. R.O-S. and D.B. acknowledge the FCT program BIOTECnico fellowships PD/BD/116850/2016 and PD/BD/113630/2015, respectively. M.S-J. acknowledges the FCT project number 29460 (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-29460).

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