Photo: CC-timbrauhnCeliac.com 09/12/2011 - Exogenous enzymes are enzymes that are created outside of the body. Doctors use exogenous enzymes, usually orally, to treat several diseases, such as pancreatic insufficiency and lactose intolerance.

Because these enzymes are protein-based, they can be inactivated and/or digested in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

A research team recently established a convenient fluorescence-based test to measure the activity of therapeutic enzymes live and in real time in the GI tract.

The research team included Gregor Fuhrmann and Jean-Christophe Leroux. They are affiliated with the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Zurich, Switzerland.

To establish proof of their principle, the team applied their assay to proline-specific endopeptidases (PEPs), a group of enzymes recently proposed as adjuvant therapy for celiac disease, which is a very common immunogenetic enteropathy.

To do so, they took a short PEP-specific