Skip to main content

Quantification of cAMP and cGMP analogs in intact cells: pitfals in enzyme immunoassays for cyclic nucleotides


The present work evaluates the cross-reactivity of commercially available cyclic nucleotide analogs with cAMP- and cGMP-immunoassays from Cayman, IBL (both IBL International, Hamburg, Germany) and ENZO Life Sciences (Loerrach, Germany).

Results and conclusion

Most of the tested cyclic nucleotide analogs showed low degree competition with the antibodies; however, with Rp-cAMPS, 8-Br-cGMP and 8-pCPT-cGMP a strong cross-reactivity with the ENZO cAMP- respectively cGMP-EIA and the IBL cGMP-RIA was observed (Table 1). As a consequence we tested these derivatives with the Cayman cGMP-EIA. This assay is less sensitive to cGMP (1.0 pmol/ml) than the ENZO cGMP-EIA (0.01 pmol/ml), however the specificity concerning cGMP-analogs is superior and therefore advantageous when measuring cGMP in the presence of 8-Br-cGMP or 8-pCPT-cGMP.

The determined EIA binding constants enabled the measurement of the intracellular cyclic nucleotide concentrations and revealed a time- and lipophilicity-dependent cell membrane permeability of the compounds in the range of 10-30 % of the extracellular applied concentration after 20 min (Table 1).

Table 1 Lipophilicity (log Kw), cell permeability and EIA/RIA specificity of selected cyclic Nucleotide analogs.

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Katharina Werner or Elke Butt.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Werner, K., Schwede, F., Genieser, H. et al. Quantification of cAMP and cGMP analogs in intact cells: pitfals in enzyme immunoassays for cyclic nucleotides. BMC Pharmacol 11, P75 (2011).

Download citation


  • Nucleotide
  • Cell Membrane
  • Membrane Permeability
  • Life Science
  • Enzyme Immunoassay