Alterations in Signaling

Cancer cells are able to alter signaling pathways to sustain proliferation and growth. This is achieved by secreting growth factors, elevating growth factor receptor levels, altering receptors for ligand-independent signaling, activating signaling pathway proteins or inactivating negative feedback loops. Understanding the roles of genes and proteins in individual signaling pathways requires molecular tools, such as protein:protein interaction assays, reporter gene assays and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing.

Protein:Protein Interactions

Proliferative signaling pathways in cancer are mediated by protein:protein interactions (PPI). PPI assays are used to understand the interactions of specific proteins (such as Myc and Max), which could lead to development of cancer drugs.

What is BRET?

Watch this video to learn about bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET), a technique for studying protein:protein and protein:ligand interactions.

Deciphering Biological Mysteries with NanoBRET

Watch this video for a basic introduction to NanoBRET® technology.

How NanoBiT Works

Watch this video to learn about an assay that detects protein:protein interactions in live cells.

nanobret nanobit to detect myc max protein interaction

Myc-Max Protein Interaction

Learn how NanoBRET® and NanoBiT® assays are used to identify novel chemicals that inhibit Myc-Max heterodimerization.

Reporter Assays

Reporter assays are used as an easy indicator of alterations in a functional signaling pathway.


With the development of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology, scientists can generate individual gene mutations and knock-outs with unprecedented ease and precision, greatly advancing the study of gene functions within signaling pathways. In the future, CRISPR technology may also be used for clinical purposes (e.g., to delete or edit faulty genes involved in cancer or other diseases).

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