Measuring dynamic changes in cAMP using fluorescence resonance energy transfer

Methods Mol Biol. 2004:284:259-70. doi: 10.1385/1-59259-816-1:259.


cAMP is a ubiquitous second messenger that controls numerous cellular events including movement, growth, metabolism, contraction, and synaptic plasticity. With the emerging concept of compartmentalization of cAMP-dependent signaling, a detailed study of the spatio-temporal intracellular dynamics of cAMP is required. Here we describe a new methodology for monitoring fluctuations of cAMP in living cells, based on the use of a genetically encoded biosensor. The regulatory and catalytic subunits of the main cAMP effector, the protein kinase A (PKA), fused with two suitable green fluorescent protein (GFP) mutants is used for measuring changes in fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) that correlate with changes in intracellular cAMP levels. This method allows the study of cAMP fluctuations in living cells with high resolution both in time and in space.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenine Nucleotides / analysis
  • Adenine Nucleotides / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / chemistry
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer / methods*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Kinetics
  • Luminescent Proteins / chemistry
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Second Messenger Systems*


  • Adenine Nucleotides
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • yellow fluorescent protein, Bacteria
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • 2',3'-cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases