A bi-functional IL-6-HaloTag® as a tool to measure the cell-surface expression of recombinant odorant receptors and to facilitate their activity quantification
The functional cell surface expression of recombinant odorant receptors typically has been investigated by expressing N-terminally extended, “tagged” receptors in test cell systems, using antibody-based immunocytochemistry or flow cytometry, and by measuring odorant/receptor-induced cAMP signaling, mostly by an odorant/receptor-induced and cAMP signaling-dependent transcriptional activation of a luciferase-based luminescence assay. In the present protocol, we explain a method to measure the cell-surface expression and signaling of recombinant odorant receptors carrying a bi-functional, N-terminal ‘IL-6-HaloTag®’. IL-6, being a secreted cytokine, facilitates functional cell surface expression of recombinant HaloTag®-odorant receptors, and the HaloTag® protein serves as a highly specific acceptor for cell-impermeant or cell-permeant, fluorophore-coupled ligands, which enable the quantification of odorant receptor expression by antibody-independent, chemical live-cell staining and flow cytometry. Here, we describe how to measure the cell surface expression of recombinant IL-6-HaloTag®-odorant receptors in HEK-293 cells or NxG 108CC15 cells, by live-cell staining and flow cytometry, and how to measure an odorant-induced activation of these receptors by the fast, real-time, luminescence-based GloSensor® cAMP assay.
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