HitHunter® cAMP Assay Platform

A Multitude of Applications for Both Small Molecules and Biologics

Researchers studying GPCRs need robust, easy-to-use high throughput assays that accurately detect cellular cAMP levels for a variety of ligands and applications without the need for optimization or specialized equipment. HitHunter cAMP Assays provide a simple, validated detection system, optimized with over 125 cell lines, for monitoring GPCR activation via detection of cAMP production in cells. Referenced in over 400 peer reviewed publications ranging from basic research to clinical applications, these assays provide the accurate pharmacology while giving you the flexibility to work with both small molecules and biologics.

Learn more about the updated Cell Culture and Handling Procedure in the new Technical Bulletin.


HitHunter cAMP Assay Principle

Easy-to-use, high throughput immunoassays with a chemiluminescent readout.
HitHunter cAMP Assay Principle

HitHunter cAMP assays are competitive immunoassays that utilize the EFC technology where a fragment ß-galactosidase (ß-gal) enzyme donor (ED) is conjugated with cAMP. This ED-cAMP conjugate and cellular cAMP compete for binding to an anti-cAMP antibody (Ab). With low levels of cellular cAMP, most of the ED-cAMP binds to the cAMP Ab, making the ED-cAMP unable to complement with the enzyme acceptor (EA). With high levels of cellular cAMP, the anti-cAMP antibody becomes saturated allowing the ED-cAMP complex to complement with the ß-gal acceptor (EA) and form an active enzyme. The active enzyme then subsequently hydrolyzes a substrate to produce a chemiluminescent signal that is directly proportional to the amount of cAMP in the cells.

HitHunter cAMP Assay Protocol

HitHunter cAMP Assay Protocol

The HitHunter cAMP Assay kits provide a robust, highly sensitive and easy-to-use, cell-based functional assay to study GPCR activity through cAMP production. The kits contain all the reagents needed for the detection of cAMP from whole cells expressing Gαi- and Gαs-coupled receptors induced with a biologic or small molecule ligand. The flexible assay system has been designed to work in agonist or antagonist mode for 96- and 384-well plate formats. After plating and stimulation of cells, the user simply adds the HitHunter cAMP Assay reagents to the cell following the homogeneous, easy-to-use procotol provided.


View the available HitHunter cAMP Assays products for both small molecules and biologics.
Detection Reagents

Complementary cAMP Hunter™ cell lines designed to use with the HitHunter cAMP Assays.
Cell Lines

Select from 100s of assay ready cAMP Hunter eXpress kits, which include a specific cell line and detection reagents.
Assay Ready Kits


GPCR Profiling
Custom Assay Development

cAMP Assays Highlights

  • Eliminate optimization steps with an assay that has been designed and validated for use with over 125 cAMP Hunter cell lines
  • Achieve precise characterization of ligand pharmacology with large assay windows, sensitive detection, and wide dynamic range
  • Study biologics with reproducible assay performance without fluorescence or serum interference and no need for specialized equipment

Optimized for a Variety of Applications

  • Perform functional screens using small molecules or biologics (antibodies, peptides)
  • Detect neutralizing antibodies (immunogenicity studies using serum and plasma)
  • Characterize phosphodiesterase inhibitors
  • Quantify low levels of cAMP (endogenous receptor studies)

Accurately Rank Molecular Potency of Ligands
HitHunter cAMP assays provide powerful tools for drug discovery screening and revealing of the correct ligand rank order and pharmacological profile.

cAMP Hunter CHO-K1 Adrenergic Receptor B2 Cell Line

Profiling experiment using a cAMP Hunter™ CHO-K1 adrenergic receptor β2 cell line to test five agonists. The data highlights the receptor’s sensitivity to the various agonists, ultimately revealing the correct rank order of the agonists and showing the agonist salbutamol (EC50 of 160 nM) is less potent than the control ligand isoproterenol (EC50 of 1.7 nM).
Easily Determine Pharmacological Profiles of Complex Assay Formats
Large assay windows and sensitive detection makes HitHunter cAMP assays ideal for studying complex assay formats like Gαi-coupled receptor antagonists.

cAMP Hunter CHO-K1 Glutamate Receptor 2 Cell Line

Comparative study of two antagonists of the Gαi-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptor 2 (GRM2) using a cAMP Hunter CHO-K1 GRM2 cell line. Results indicate that the Antagonist 2 (IC50 of 8 nM) is a more potent inhibitor compared to Antagonist 1 (IC50 of 24 nM).
Obtain Excellent Reproducibility and High Sensitivity for Testing Biologics
Perform quality control assays, including potency assays for lot release and stability testing in biologics.

cAMP Hunter CHO-K1 Glucagon-Like Peptide Receptor 1 Cell Line

cAMP Hunter CHO-K1 Chemokine CXC Receptor 4 Cell Line

(Top) Evaluation of lot-to-lot consistency using a GLP agonist, GLP1(7-36), and the cAMP Hunter Gαs-coupled GLP1R bioassay that incorporates the HitHunter cAMP Assay for Biologics. Results indicate the assay's excellent reproducibility for all three lots tested with S:B ratios over 10 fold and EC50’s ranging from only 76 pM to 86 pM. (Bottom) Evaluation of lot-to-lot consistency using a biologic ligand, SDF1α, and the cAMP Hunter Gαi-coupled CXCR4 receptor (chemokine C-X-C motif receptor 4) cell line. Results show high sensitivity detection and excellent reproducibility with overlapping S:B ratios of ~6 and EC50’s ranging from only 689 pM to 796 pM.
Identify Allosteric Modulators, Partial Agonists, Inverse Agonists, and Silent Agonists
HitHunter cAMP assays’ superior assay performance, with its large assay window and wide dynamic range, allows for easy identification of a diverse set of pharmacological ligands such as positive allosteric modulators (PAMs), negative allosteric modulators (NAMs), partial agonists, and more.

cAMP Hunter CHO-K1 Glucagon Receptor Cell Line
Easily identify partial agonists. This experiment uses a cAMP Hunter Gαs-coupled glucagon receptor (GCGR) CHO-K1 cell line to analyze two agonists. Results reveal [des-His1, Glu9]- glucagon exhibits partial agonism (S:B of 9.2; EC50 of 340 nM) compared to the full native agonist, glucagon (S:B of 14.8; EC50 of 11 nM).