Alphascreen - BMYscreen
AlphaScreen® is a bead-based assay technology used to study biomolecular interactions in a microplate format. The acronym “Alpha” stands for Amplified Luminescent Proximity Homogeneous Assay.
The assay does not require any washing steps. Binding of proteins or other binding partners captured on the beads leads to an energy transfer from one bead to the other, ultimately producing a luminescent signal. Alpha assays require two bead types: Donor beads and Acceptor beads. Each bead type contains a different proprietary mixture of chemicals, which are key elements of the Alpha technology. Donor beads contain a photosensitizer, phthalocyanine, which converts ambient oxygen to an excited and reactive form of O2, singlet oxygen, upon illumination at   680 nm. Within its 4 μsec half-life, singlet oxygen can diffuse approximately 200 nm in solution. If an Acceptor bead is within that distance, energy is transferred from the singlet oxygen to thioxene derivatives within the Acceptor bead, resulting in light production at 520-620 nm (AlphaScreen) or at 615 nm (AlphaLISA). If the Donor bead is not in proximity of an Acceptor bead, the singlet oxygen falls to ground state and no signal is produced.
In an Alpha protein:protein interaction assay, one protein is captured on the Donor beads, and the other protein is captured on the Acceptor beads. When the two proteins interact, the Donor bead is brought into proximity of the Acceptor bead, and excitation of the Donor bead will result in signal generation dependent on the presence of an interaction (for more details see review Taouji et al. 2009).
The AlphaScreen principle
Alpha Technology is a bead-based proximity assay. When Alpha donor and acceptor beads are brought together, a cascade of chemical reactions is set in motion, creating a greatly amplified signal. Thus, alpha technology enables the measurment of the binding of two molecules (represented by 2 magnets).
Beads can be coated with various biomolecules, enabling :
A. Measurement of biomarkers, cytokines and other analytes in various samples;
B. Measurement of protein phosphorylation, kinase activity, and other protein modifications;
C. Measurement of biomolecules interaction (ex. Protein-protein interactions).
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