Aequorin fusion proteins as bioluminescent tracers for competitive immunoassays

Mara Mirasoli, Elisa Michelini, Sapna K. Deo, Emre Dikici, Aldo Roda, Sylvia Daunert

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The use of bio- and chemiluminescence for the development of quantitative binding assays offers undoubted advantages over other detection systems, such as spectrophotometry, fluorescence, or radioactivity. Indeed, bio- and chemiluminescence detection provides similar, or even better, sensitivity and detectability than radioisotopes, while avoiding the problems of health hazards, waste disposal, and instability associated with the use of radioisotopes. Among bioluminescent labels, the calcium-activated photoprotein aequorin, originally isolated from Aequorea victoria and today available as a recombinant product, is characterized by very high detectability, down to attomole levels. It has been used as a bioluminescent label for developing a variety of highly sensitive immunoassays, using various analyte-aequorin conjugation strategies. When the analyte is a protein or a peptide, genetic engineering techniques can be used to produce protein fusions where the analyte is in-frame fused with aequorin, thus producing homogeneous one-to-one conjugation products, available in virtually unlimited amount. Various assays were developed using this strategy: a short review of the most interesting applications is presented, as well as the cloning, purification and initial characterization of an endothelin-1-aequorin conjugate suitable for developing a competitive immunoassay for endothelin-1, a potent vasoconstrictor peptide, involved in hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Nov 16 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventGenetically Engineered and Optical Probes for Biomedical Applications II - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 24 2004Jan 27 2004


  • Aequorin
  • Bifunctional protein
  • Bioluminescence
  • Competitive immunoassay
  • Endothelin-1
  • Gene fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Aequorin fusion proteins as bioluminescent tracers for competitive immunoassays'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this