Improvement of chemically-activated luciferase gene expression bioassay for detection of dioxin-like chemicals.

Zhi Ren Zhang, Shun Qing Xu, Yi Kai Zhou, Yong Jun Xu, Zhi Wei Liu, Xiao Kun Cai, Xiang Lin Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To improve the chemically-activated luciferase expression (CALUX) bioassay for detection of dioxin-like chemicals (DLCs) based on the toxicity mechanisms of DLCs. METHODS: A recombinant vector was constructed and used to transfect human hepatoma (HepG2). The expression of this vector was 10-100 folds higher than that of pGL2 used in previous experiments. The transfected cells showed aromatic hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-meditated luciferase gene expression. The reliability of luciferase induction in this cell line as a reporter of AhR-mediated toxicity was evaluated, the optimal detection time was examined and a comparison was made by using the commonly used ethoxyresoufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity induction assay. RESULTS: The results suggested that the luciferase activity in recombinant cells was peaked at about 4 h and then decreased to a stable activity by 14 h after TCDD treatment. The detection limit of this cell line was 0.11 pmol/L, or 10-fold lower than in previous studies, with a linear range from 1 to 100 pmol/L, related coefficient of 0.997, and the coefficient of variability (CV) of 15-30%. CONCLUSION: The luciferase induction is 30-fold more sensitive than EROD induction, the detection time is 68 h shorter and the detection procedure is also simpler.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
JournalBiomedical and environmental sciences : BES
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Improvement of chemically-activated luciferase gene expression bioassay for detection of dioxin-like chemicals.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this