Cypridina Luciferase

Cypridina Luciferase (CLuc) is secreted from the marine ostracod, Cyridina noctiluca. As a reporter gene, its ultrasensitive bioluminescence activity can be measured in mammalian living cells or lysates. CLuc is a highly stable protein, even in high temperatures. CLuc uses a specific luciferin, (also known as Vargulin) which is not a substrate for Gaussia, firefly or Renilla luciferases. Therefore, Cypridina is compatible with other luciferases in dual activity assays. The combination of GLuc and CLuc reporter systems is ideal for assays at multiple time points from the same sample (1,2). An example of this, was published by a group studying the cycling activity of clock genes (3).CLuc bioluminescence has been used for sensitive antibody detection of tumors (4).

Activity of Gaussia (GLuc) and Cypridina (CLuc) Luciferases Expressed in CHO Cells.

Activity was determined from the conditional media or cell lysate.


  1. Kwon et al. (2012) Cell Death and Disease (2012) 3, e278; doi:10.1038/cddis.2012.20. PMID: 22402602
  2. Hulleman JD et al.(2011) Mol. Biol. Cell December 15, 2011 vol. 22 no. 244765-4775. PMID: 22031286
  3. Watanabe, T., et al. (2010) Anal. Biochem. 402, 107-109. PMID: 20230775
  4. Wu C. et al. (2012) Luminescence, Mar 8. doi: 10.1002/bio.2333. PMID: 22407540

Choose Type:

Protocols for Cypridina Luciferase


  • Naturally Secreted – Amenable to live cell assays
  • Sensitivity – Brightest luciferases available; enables single cell applications
  • Stability – Samples can be stored for several days with no loss of activity
  • Easy-to-use – Cell lysis not necessary
  • Non-destructive – Living cells can be used in downstream assays
  • Flexible – Activity can also be measured in cell lysates


  • Transfection optimization studies
  • Promoter/enhancer assays
  • High throughput assays
  • Multiplex assays
  • Multiple assays with other reporters
  • Secretory pathway reporter assays
  • Signal transduction
  • siRNA potency screening
  • Time course studies
  • Single cell assays, including stem cells and primary cells
  • Live cell assays
  • Assays in difficult to transfect cells

NEB vs. Other Commercially Available Reporter Systems

Features Gaussia Cypridina Renilla Firefly Metridia
Extreme Sensitivity      
Does not require and is
not affected by ATP

Comparison of the features of commercially available reporter systems highlights the advantages of using Gaussia or Cypridina Luciferase from NEB.

Reporter System Selection Chart

NEB offer a variety of products that utilize secreted Gaussia Luciferase (GLuc) and Cypridina Luciferase (CLuc) in reporter assays.