Cereblon binding kit HTRF®

The Cereblon binding assay is designed to screen and characterize compounds that specifically bind the E3 ligase, Cereblon.

See more
  • No-wash No-wash
  • Low sample consumption Low sample consumption
  • All inclusive kit All inclusive kit

The Cereblon binding assay is designed to screen and characterize compounds that specifically bind the E3 ligase, Cereblon.



A fast and easy way to identify new binders to Cereblon WT protein. Cereblon, also known as CRBN, is involved in many biological processes and is closely associated with proliferation, apoptosis, cell metabolism, and the occurrence of many diseases. Cereblon is also one of the two most popular E3 ligases which is recruited by bifunctional Proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) to induce ubiquitination and subsequent proteasomal degradation of a targeted protein. Cereblon interacts with several proteins to form the functional E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, in which CRBN functions as a substrate receptor of the E3 ubiquitin ligase complex and targets proteins for proteolysis.

Identifying new Cereblon ligands is therefore a way to control biological processes involved in oncology, neurodegenerative, or metabolic diseases by inducing the proteasomal-dependent degradation of undesired proteins.

This product is also available using Alpha Technology. To learn more, visit AlphaLISA Human Cereblon binding kit webpage.

PerkinElmer has made available a range of documents with educational content and reagents dedicated to PROTAC to help you in your research. Visit our dedicated webpage to learn more.


  • Discover Cereblon ligands
  • Identify Cereblon ligand-based PROTAC compounds
  • Identify immune-modulatory drugs (IMiDs)

Assay principle

The HTRF Cereblon binding assay is a competitive assay format which uses Thalidomide-Red as Cereblon ligand, a GST tagged human Cereblon protein, and an anti GST Cryptate-labeled antibody. Your compound competes with the Thalidomide-Red and thereby prevents FRET from occurring.

Principle of the HTRF Cereblon competitive assay

Assay protocol

The Cereblon binding assay can be run in a 96- or 384-well low volume white plate (20 µL final). As described here, samples or standards are dispensed directly into the assay plate, the human GST-tagged Cereblon protein is then added followed by the dispensing of the HTRF reagents: the anti GST antibody labeled with Europium cryptate and  the Thalidomide-Red labeled with XL665. The reagents labelled with HTRF fluorophores may be pre-mixed and added in a single dispensing step. No washing steps are needed. The protocol can be further miniaturized or upscaled by simply resizing each addition volume proportionally.
Assay protocol of the HTRF Cereblon competitive assay

Screening of Cereblon orthosteric ligands

Various compounds known to be Cereblon ligands were added to the assay. Lenalidomide (assay standard), pomalidomide, and thalidomide display the right potency and pharmacological ranking in good correlation with the literature. VH032, a non-specific compound, well known as a VHL E3 ligase orthosteric ligand,  and Nutlin3a, another non-specific compound, well known as a MDM2 E3 ligase orthosteric ligand, had no effect on the assay, confirming the  specificity of the kit for Cereblon binders.

Schema of assays with Cereblon orthosteric ligands
Validation of the HTRF Cereblon binding kit with various orthosteric Cereblon ligands

Screening of PROTAC compounds (Cereblon-ligand based)

Various PROTAC compounds, known to be PROTAC Cereblon-ligand based, were added to the assay. BSJ-04-132, BSJ-03-123,  dBRD9, TL13112, and MT802 display the right potency in good correlation with the literature. AT11 and CM1 , two non-specific compounds, well known to be PROTAC VHL-ligand based, had no effect on the assay, confirming the  specificity of the kit in detecting only PROTAC Cereblon-ligand based.

Schema of assays with PROTAC compounds
Validation of the HTRF Cereblon binding kit with various PROTAC compounds

DMSO effect on assay performance

Different percentages of DMSO were tested, from 0.4% to 2% (final in the wells). The results indicate that the assay window is reduced with the increasing percentages of DMSO, while the pharmacology remains stable. 

Evaluation of DMSO effect on the fold of change measurements

Role of Cereblon in the CRL4-CRBN E3 ubiquitin ligase complex

Cereblon, also known as CRBN, is a ubiquitously expressed protein of 442 amino-acids (55 kDa).

CRBN interacts with DNA damage-binding protein-1 (DDB1), Cullin 4 (Cul4), and the regulator of Cullins 1 (RoC1) to form a functional E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. In this complex, CRBN functions as a substrate recognition subunit, and targets proteins for proteolysis through a ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). This E3 ubiquitin ligase complex can therefore achieve different cellular responses by targeting different substrates.

CRBN expression in the brain is associated with memory and learning processes. The nonsense mutation (R419X) is responsible for nonsyndromic mental retardation.

CRBN also ensures normal cell proliferation and metabolism by regulating the function of ion channels.

Cereblon is also the primary direct target of the immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) Thalidomide, Pomalidomide, and Lenalidomide, that are all FDA approved drugs for the treatment of multiple myeloma. These drugs induce ubiquitination and degradation of the lymphoid transcription factors IKZF1 and IKZF3 via the CRBN E3 ubiquitin ligase.

Total Cereblon signaling pathway

Best practices for pharmacological characterization of PPI inhibitors

Easy pharmacological characterization of PPI modulators. - Technical Notes

HTRF assays handle low- to high affinity protein-protein interactions

Deciphering low- and high affinity interactions - Application Notes

Nuclear receptor ligand identification with HTRF

Monitoring nuclear receptor binding with HTRF assays - Application Notes

HTRF addresses large protein-protein interaction complexes

Challenge large complexes with HTRF assays - Application Notes

HTRF PPI your dream assay served on a plate

Sandwiches aren't just for eating - Infographics

A brief history of Protein-Protein Interactions

How well do you know PPI? - Infographics

HTRF Product Catalog

All your HTRF assays in one document! - Catalog

A guide to Homogeneous Time Resolved Fluorescence

General principles of HTRF - Guides

How HTRF compares to Western Blot and ELISA

Get the brochure about technology comparison. - Brochures

Virology research solutions using HTRF Protein-Protein Interaction assays

See how peer researchers challenge the viral life cycle with PPI assays - Application Notes

Protein Degradation - A Path to New Therapeutics eBook

Latest developments on PROTAC® design and validation - Guides

Plate Reader Requirement

Choosing the right microplate reader ensures you’ll get an optimal readout. Discover our high performance reader, or verify if your lab equipment is going to be compatible with this detection technology.

Let's find your reader