Selective Fluorogenic β-Glucocerebrosidase Substrates for Convenient Analysis of Enzyme Activity in Cell and Tissue Homogenates

Matthew C. Deen, Cameron Proceviat, Xiaoyang Shan, Liang Wu, David L. Shen, Gideon J. Davies, David J. Vocadlo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Within mammals, there are often several functionally related glycoside hydrolases, which makes monitoring their activities problematic. This problem is particularly acute for the enzyme β-glucocerebrosidase (GCase), the malfunction of which is a key driver of Gaucher's disease (GD) and a major risk factor for Parkinson's disease (PD). Humans harbor two other functionally related β-glucosidases known as GBA2 and GBA3, and the currently used fluorogenic substrates are not selective, which has driven the use of complicated subtractive assays involving the use of detergents and inhibitors. Here we describe the preparation of fluorogenic substrates based on the widely used nonselective substrate resorufin β-d-glucopyranoside. Using recombinant enzymes, we show that these substrates are highly selective for GCase. We also demonstrate their value through the analysis of GCase activity in brain tissue homogenates from transgenic mice expressing mutant human GCase and patient fibroblasts expressing mutant GCase. This approach simplifies the analysis of cell and tissue homogenates and should facilitate the analysis of clinical and laboratory tissues and samples. ©

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalACS Chemical Biology
Early online date28 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2020

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