Illuminating insights into protein-protein interactions using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET)

Nat Methods. 2006 Mar;3(3):165-74. doi: 10.1038/nmeth841.


Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) is a straightforward biophysical technique for studying protein-protein interactions. It requires: (1) that proteins of interest and suitable controls be labeled with either a donor or acceptor molecule, (2) placement of these labeled proteins in the desired environment for assessing their potential interaction, and (3) use of suitable detection instrumentation to monitor resultant energy transfer. There are now several possible applications, combinations of donor and acceptor molecules, potential assay environments and detection system perturbations. Therefore, this review aims to demystify and clarify the important aspects of the BRET methodology that should be considered when using this technique.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer / instrumentation*
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer / methods*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / chemistry
  • Luminescent Measurements / methods*
  • Protein Binding
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / chemistry


  • Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins