Bioluminescent Ligand–Receptor Binding Assays for Protein or Peptide Hormones

  • Ya-Li Liu
  • Zhan-Yun GuoEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1461)


Bioluminescence has been widely used in biomedical research due to its high sensitivity, low background, and broad linear range. In recent studies, we applied bioluminescence to ligand–receptor binding assays for some protein or peptide hormones based on a newly developed small monomeric Nanoluciferase (NanoLuc) reporter that has the so far brightest bioluminescence. The conventional ligand–receptor binding assays rely on radioligands that have drawbacks, such as radioactive hazards and short shelf lives. In contrast, the novel bioluminescent binding assays use the NanoLuc-based protein or peptide tracers that are safe, stable, and ultrasensitive. Thus, the novel bioluminescent ligand–receptor binding assay would be applied to more and more protein or peptide hormones for ligand–receptor interaction studies in future. In the present article, we provided detailed protocols for setting up the novel bioluminescent ligand–receptor binding assays using two representative protein hormones as examples.

Key words

Bioluminescence Binding Ligand Peptide Protein Receptor Tracer 



We thank Promega Corporation for providing the plasmids encoding NanoLuc. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31470767, 31270824) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2000219098).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Translational Medicine at East Hospital, College of Life Sciences and TechnologyTongji UniversityShanghaiChina

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