Cysteine proteases, caspases, play an important role in the process of programmed cell death. In apoptosis, the cell signaling pathways overlap at executioner caspases regardless of the initial stimulus. Caspase-3 is the key one. This review considers the sensors for activity of caspase-3 and some other caspases. Over the past decade, many such sensors utilizing a variety of detection principles have been created; fluorescence and luminescence are the most common detection methods. The intracellular sensors are of particular interest; they allow visualization of the activation of caspases in living systems. Herein, we briefly describe sensors of various designs, the advantages and disadvantages of which must be taken into account when choosing a sensor for a particular experimental system.
- fluorescent protein
- Förster resonance energy transfer