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  • Portable - compatible with most cell types, including primary and stem cells
  • Fast - develop assays in less than one week without having to generate stable cell lines
  • Simple - homogenous assay format utilizing a single antibody
  • Flexible - measure multiple modifications, such as phosphorylation, acetylation, or ubiquitination

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Assay Overview

BacMam-enabled Cellular Assays are an efficient, easy-to-optimize, and robust method for interrogating specific signal transduction events in a cell background of choice. BacMam-enabled Cellular Assays combine two robust technologies: BacMam-mediated gene delivery and LanthaScreen® TR-FRET technology. Each technology provides unique benefits, including portability into different cell types and an assay readout that is quick and amenable to high-throughput applications.

Assay Workflow

Compared to other types of cellular assays, BacMam-enabled Cellular Assays reduce assay development time by minimizing the need to generate a stable cell line while also allowing choice of cellular background. Once cells are transduced with the BacMam reagent, LanthaScreen® technology is utilized for the readout. This assay format has a simple, “addition only” protocol requiring minimal hands-on time (Figure 1)





Figure 1. 
BacMam-enabled Cellular Assay work flow. Cells are treated with BacMam reagent encoding a GFP-fusion protein and plated in 384-well format. 24 hours post-transduction, the cells are stimulated to induce the posttranslational modification of the GFP-substrate (e.g. phosphorylation as shown). Cells are then lysed in the presence of a terbium anti-modification-specific antibody prior to the LanthaScreen® assay readout.

Assay Portability

Cell types successfully transduced with BacMam reagents include numerous transformed cell lines (e.g. U2-OS, HEK 293, and HeLa), many primary cells (e.g., fibroblasts, endothelial, and epithelial cells), and stem cells (e.g. adipocyte derived and mesenchymal stem cells). These cells have been shown to be efficiently transduced without adverse affects (Figure 2).

For more information on BacMam compatible cell types, visit www.invitrogen.com/bacmam



Figure 2
. BacMam-enabled Cellular Assays for detecting Histone H3 acetylation at Lysine 9 in various cell backgrounds. (A) 786-0; (B) U2-OS; (C) HCT-116. Cells were transduced with BacMam Histone H3 reagent and plated onto a 384-well assay plate in low-serum assay medium overnight. Cells were then treated with indicated amounts of trichostatin A (HDAC inhibitor) for 3 hours prior to performing the LanthaScreen® assay. All three assays had response ratios greater than 3.0. Similar results have been achieved for various cell types using BacMam-enabled Cellular Assays.

Assay Flexibility – measuring multiple post-translational modifications

Nucleosome functions are highly regulated by a multitude of dynamic posttranslational modifications such as phosphorylation, acetylation, methylation, ubiquitination, and others. The use of LanthaScreen® technology in BacMam-enabled Cellular Assays allows for examination of multiple posttranslation modifications on a given substrate as long as a modification-specific antibody is available. The acetylation of Histone H3 at Lys9 and the cell cycle-dependent phosphorylation of Histone H3 at Ser10 can be detected with terbium-labeled anti-Histone H3 acetyl-Lys9 and anti-phospho Ser10 specific antibodies, respectively (Figures 3 and 4). Bacmam-enabled Cellular Assays enable interrogation of multiple enzymatic activities responsible for posttranslational modifications, including challenging targets like histones.



Figure 3.   BacMam-enabled Cellular Assay for detecting Histone H3 acetylation at Lysine 9. U2-OS cells were transduced with BacMam Histone H3 reagent and  plated onto a 384-well assay plate in low-serum assay medium overnight. Cells were then treated with indicated amounts of HDAC inhibitors for 3 hours prior to performing the LanthaScreen® assay. The BacMam Histone H3 [AcLys9] Cellular Assay can detect known HDAC inhibitors with a broad potency.


Figure 4.   BacMam-enabled Cellular Assay for detecting Histone H3 phosphorylation at Serine 10. U2-OS cells were transduced with BacMam Histone H3 reagent and plated onto a 384-well assay plate in low-serum assay medium overnight. (A) Cells were then treated with indicated amounts of calyculin A for 1 hour prior to performing the TR-FRET assay. (B) Cells were pretreated with aurora kinase inhibitor VX680 for 1 hour and then incubated with calyculin A for an additional hour prior to performing the LanthaScreen® assay. The BacMam Histone H3 [pSer10] Cellular Assay can successfully measure aurora kinase activity.

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Build your own BacMam-enabled assay

Interested in custom BacMam virus generation or building an assay for your target of interest? Custom project scopes can range from something as minimal as creating a BacMam virus from your gene of interest to full assay development and batch transduction of your BacMam virus into your cell line of choice.

Contact us to start your project today

Ordering Information

BacMam-enabled Cellular Assay evaluation kits provide enough reagents for ~800 assays (in a 384-well plate format).  Kits include the following reagents:

-  BacMam reagent
-  Terbium-labeled antibody
-  Lysis buffer
-  Enhancer

All kit reagents are available in bulk sizing.  Email us at discoverysciences@lifetech.com for more information on purchasing bulk reagents.

Ordering Information

Sku Name Size Price Qty
A12897 BacMam Histone H3 [AcLys9] Cellular Assay Kit 1 kit USD 2,910.00
A12898 BacMam Histone H3 [pSer10] Cellular Assay Kit 1 kit USD 1,996.00
A12899 BacMam Akt [pSer473] Cellular Assay Kit 1 kit USD 1,996.00
A12900 BacMam Akt [pThr308] Cellular Assay Kit 1 kit USD 1,996.00
A12901 BacMam p53 [AcLys382] Cellular Assay Kit 1 kit USD 1,996.00
A12902 BacMam p53 [pSer15] Cellular Assay Kit 1 kit USD 1,996.00
A12888 BacMam ERK2 [pThr185/pTyr187] Cellular Assay Kit 1 kit USD 1,647.24
A14164 BacMam Histone H3K4me2 Cellular Assay Kit 1 kit USD 1,086.50
A14163 BacMam Histone H3K4me3 Cellular Assay Kit 1 kit USD 1,086.50
A14159 BacMam Histone H3K27me3 Cellular Assay Kit 1 kit USD 1,086.50