Multiplexing Bioluminescent and Fluorescent Reporters to Monitor Live Cells

Michael Haugwitz*, #, a, Omar Nourzaie#, a, Tatiana Garachtchenkoa, Lanrong Hua, Suvarna Gandlura, Cathy Olsenb, Andrew Farmera, Grigoriy Chagaa, Hiroaki Sagawaa
a Clontech Laboratories, Inc., 1290 Terra Bella Ave., Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
b Molecular Devices, now a part of MDS Analytical Technologies, 1311 Orleans Drive, Sunnyvale, CA 94089, USA

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2008 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Clontech Laboratories, Inc., 1290 Terra Bella Ave., Mountain View, CA 94043, USA; E-mail:
# Contributed equally.


Reporter proteins are valuable tools to monitor promoter activities and characterize signal transduction pathways. Many of the currently available promoter reporters have drawbacks that compromise their performance. Enzyme-based reporter systems using cytosolic luciferases are highly sensitive, but require a cell lysis step that prevents their use in long-term monitoring. By contrast, secreted bioluminescent reporters like Metridia luciferase and Secreted Alkaline Phosphatase can be assayed repeatedly, using supernatant from the same live cell population to produce many sets of data over time. This is crucial for studies with limited amounts of cells, as in the case of stem cells. The use of secreted bioluminescent reporters also enables broader applications to provide more detailed information using live cells; for example, multiplexing with fluorescent proteins. Here, data is presented describing the characteristics of secreted Metridia luciferase and its use in multiplexing applications with either Secreted Alkaline Phosphatase or a fluorescent protein.