Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a hot topic. In this publication alone, more than 14 articles mentioning apoptosis have been published within the past year. It is therefore little wonder that new kits for apoptosis detection seem to be introduced on a daily basis. One of the most popular methods for detecting apoptosis is the caspase activity assay. Caspases are cellular enzymes that, when activated, initiate a proteolytic cascade that ultimately leads to apoptosis; caspases are thus useful markers for apoptosis.1

Madison, Wis.-based Promega Corp.'s latest offering in this field is the Apo-ONE™ Homogeneous Caspase-3/7 Assay, a kit that, as its name suggests, detects caspase-3 and -7 activity in cell culture. The assay employs a substrate, Z-DEVD-Rhodamine 110, which fluoresces upon cleavage by caspase-3/7; the amount of fluorescence is proportional to the amount of caspase activity present in the sample. The system includes a proprietary lysis/activity buffer...

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