SARS-CoV-2 Protease Assay Services

In today’s global COVID-19 pandemic crisis, protease studies are more important than ever, since proteases are essential for virus replication of coronaviruses. Existing protease inhibitors are now being added to clinical trials for target SARS-CoV-2 and specific proteases have been under special investigation as new strategical targets to prevent and cure coronavirus infections. These targets include ACE2, TMPRSS2 protease, and Main Protease (Mpro protease or 3CL protease) which are indispensable for virus replication and the infection process.  

To support the drug discovery community in the challenge to identify efficacious COVID-19 drugs, we have developed specific assays targeting proteases that are essential for SARS-CoV-2 virus entry and replication.

  • Fluorescence-based protease activity assays for inhibitor screening
  • Low and large scale, as well as high-throughput protease inhibitor screening options, are available

  • Full protease panel screening is available for off-target analysis.

Reaction Biology supports the global quest for relief from COVID-19 through offering SARS-CoV-2 Protease Screening Services to accurately determine the potency of potential therapeutics to inhibit host and viral proteases.

Our research organization has two facilities: one in the United States and another in Germany. With a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic, we’re easily accessible by pharmaceutical companies and drug discovery researchers around the world in need of COVID-19 protease assays.

Proteases as Targets against SARS-CoV-2

Host proteases furin and TMPRSS2 protease play a vital role in the pathogenesis and replication of SARS-CoV-2 by cleaving the spike protein to enable membrane fusion for virus entry. Cathepsin L further primes the spike protein in the acidic environment of endosomes. PLpro protease and Mpro protease (or 3CL protease) are coronavirus proteases required for virus replication. They proteolytically process the polyprotein, which is a prerequisite for virus assembly. PLpro protease is also known to interfere with the anti-viral immune response of the host cell.

Coronavirus protease assays

List of COVID-19 Protease Assays (8)

List of COVID-19 Protease Assays (8)
Target Synonyms Data
ACE2 protease angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 Data sheet
Cathepsin B protease APP secretase, Cathepsin B1, CATB, CTSB, CPSB Data sheet
Cathepsin L protease CTSL, CTSL1 Data sheet
Furin protease FUR, PACE, PCSK3 Data sheet
Mpro protease 3CLpro, main protease, 3cl protease Data sheet
PLpro protease NSP3, Papain-Like cysteine protease Data sheet
TMPRSS2 protease Transmembrane protease serine 2, PRSS10 Data sheet
TMPRSS6 protease Transmembrane protease serine 6, matriptase 2 Data sheet

See our full portfolio on our Protease Assay webpage.

SARS-CoV-2 Protease Assay Details

Study Example PLpro

The papain-like protease (PLpro) is responsible for cleavage of the coronavirus polyprotein necessary for virus assembly. PLpro also suppresses the host innate immune through the reversal of ubiquitination and ISGylation events. We offer the investigation of the proteolytic activity of PLpro for deubiquitination and for proteolysis of a peptide.


example study for testing compounds against coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 protease PLpro for drug discovery for treatment of covid-19

The PLpro assay allows for screening compounds using a fluorogenic substrate, either Z-RLRGG-AMC or Ubiquitin-AMC. PLpro cleaves the substrate for the release of AMC and the resulting fluorescence can be quantified with a luminometer for readout of PLpro enzymatic activity.