S.teven Verhelst, a chemical biologist at KU Leuven in Belgium, and his PhD student Suravi Chakrabarty developed an inhibitor of caspases, enzymes that are essential for apoptosis. and key into the caspase enzyme. When exposed to UV light, the nitroindoline jumps off and releases the enzyme to bind and destroy caspases and stop apoptosis.
A 15-minute UV exposure removes the nitroindoline photo cage from the caspase inhibitor and frees the small molecule to prevent caspases from apoptosis of cultured human T cells.
© Melanie Lee
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