Repository logo

Secreted dual reporter assay with Gaussia luciferase and the red fluorescent protein mCherry.

Published version



Change log


Wider, Diana 


The availability of a wide range of reporter proteins, which can easily be quantitated, has had a major impact on many fields of biomedical research. In some experiments with tissue culture cells, it is necessary to control for differences in transfection efficiency and in other expression parameters. This requirement has been very conveniently met with the popular dual luciferase assay. Its disadvantages are the requirement for cell lysis, the inability to analyze the same cells repeatedly, and the cost, at least in its most commonly used commercial format. Here we describe a novel dual reporter assay with the naturally secreted luciferase from Gaussia princeps as the main reporter protein and a secreted version of the red fluorescent protein mCherry as internal standard. After first measuring mCherry fluorescence in the medium, an enzyme buffer with coelenterazine as substrate is added to the same sample to trigger a glow-type luminescence of the luciferase. The simple and cheap assay can easily be adapted to a variety of experimental situations. As a case in point, we have developed a panel of Gaussia luciferase reporter genes for transcriptional activation assays with estrogen and glucocorticoid response elements, and with response elements for fusion proteins with the Gal4 DNA binding domain for use in mammalian cells. Our secreted dual reporter assay should be an attractive alternative to the currently available commercial kits.



Arecaceae, Genes, Reporter, Luciferases, Luminescent Proteins, Transcriptional Activation, Red Fluorescent Protein

Journal Title

PLoS One

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



Public Library of Science (PLoS)