Teaching ResourceBiochemistry

Measurement of cAMP in an Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory, Using ALPHAscreen Technology

Science Signaling  14 Feb 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 211, pp. tr1
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2002656

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Adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cAMP) is a cellular second messenger with central relevance to pharmacology, cell biology, and biochemistry teaching programs. cAMP is produced from adenosine triphosphate by adenylate cyclase, and its production is reduced or enhanced upon activation of many G protein–coupled receptors. Therefore, the measurement of cAMP serves as an indicator of receptor activity. Although there are many assays available for measuring cAMP, few are suitable for large class teaching, and even fewer seem to have been adapted for this purpose. Here, we describe the use of bead-based ALPHAscreen (Amplified Luminescent Proximity Homogenous Assay) technology for teaching a class of more than 300 students the practical aspects of detecting signal transduction. This technology is applicable to the measurement of many different signaling pathways. This resource is designed to provide a practical guide for instructors and a useful model for developing other classes using similar technologies.

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