Homogeneous proximity tyrosine kinase assays : SPA versus HTRF

Literature Life Science

A comparison of the 2 methods for tyrosine kinases


Two homogeneous proximity assays for tyrosine kinases, scintillation proximity assay (SPA) and homogeneous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF), have been developed and compared. In both formats, the kinase assay was performed using biotinylated peptide substrate, ATP ([33P]ATP in the case of SPA), and tyrosine kinase in a 96-well assay format. After the kinase reaction was stopped, streptavidin-coated SPA beads or europium cryptate-labeled anti-phosphotyrosine antibody and streptavidin-labeled allophycocyanin were added as detection reagents for SPA or HTRF assays, respectively. Since the assay signal was detected only when the energy donor (radioactivity for SPA, Eu for HTRF) and the energy acceptor molecules (SPA beads for SPA, allophycocyanin for HTRF) were in close proximity, both assays required no wash or liquid transfer steps. This homogeneous (“mix-and-measure”) nature allows these assays to be much simpler, more robust, and easier to automate than traditional protein kinase assays, such as a filter binding assay or ELISA. Both assays have been miniaturized to a 384-well format to reduce the assay volume, thereby saving the valuable screening samples as well as assay reagents, and automated using automated pipetting stations to increase the assay throughput. Several advantages and disadvantages for each assay are described.


Anal Biochem. 1999;269(1):94-104.

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