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Cell Signaling

Promega cell signaling products use the power and convenience of bioluminescence to detect and quantify the activity of various enzymes and proteins involved in signal transduction cascades. 

Our biochemical kinase detection platform, ADP-Glo™ Kinase Assay, is a very sensitive and reliable detection method that is easily scaled to meet your throughput needs. Additionally, we offer a large selection of Kinase Enzyme Systems that are optimized for use with ADP-Glo and include over 100 mutants.

The award-winning kinase target engagement assays use NanoBRET® technology to measure kinase-compound binding and residence time in live cells.

Assays are also available for detection of GPCR signaling events, glycosyltransferase activity, and other enzyme activities.

An Introduction to Cell Signaling

Cell signaling, or signal transduction, is the process by which information from the cell surface is transmitted to the nucleus via a complex network of interwoven signaling cascades. These signaling events regulate cellular responses like proliferation, differentiation, secretion and apoptosis. 

Signal transduction cascades are generally triggered by the binding of ligands, such as growth factors, cytokines, neurotransmitters, or hormones, to a receptor. These receptors transmit the stimulus to the interior of the cell, where the signal is amplified and directed through a signaling pathway.

The propagation of the primary signal involves a wide array of enzymes with specialized functions. In many cases, the signal is propagated by post-translational modification of proteins. Protein phosphorylation, one of the most common post-translational modifications, plays a dominant role in almost all signaling events. In general, phosphorylation either activates or inactivates a given protein to perform a certain function. 

Protein kinases and phosphatases are responsible for determining the phosphorylation state of cellular proteins and, thus, whether a signal gets transduced within a cell. Changes in the level, subcellular localization and activity of kinases and phosphatases have consequences for normal cell function and maintenance of cellular homeostasis.

Assays to detect the activity of kinases and other signaling enzymes are fundamental tools for researchers studying a wide variety of signaling events. They are also used widely for the evaluation of drug:target interactions in drug discovery applications.