SNAP-tag® Substrates

Cellular Analysis
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  • NEB offers a large selection of fluorescent labels (substrates) for SNAP-fusion proteins. SNAP-tag® substrates consist of a fluorophore conjugated to guanine or chloropyrimidine leaving groups via a benzyl linker. Substrates label the SNAP-tag® without the need for additional enzymes. Cell-permeable substrates (SNAP-Cell®) are suitable for both intracellular and cell-surface labeling, whereas non-cell-permeable substrates (SNAP-Surface®) are specific for fusion proteins expressed on the cell surface only.

    SNAP-tag®, SNAP-Cell® and SNAP-Surface® are registered trademarks of New England Biolabs, Inc.

    1. Fluorescent Labeling of COS-7 Expressing SNAP-tag Fusion Proteins for Live Cell Imaging

      Watch as Chris Provost, of New England Biolabs, performs fluorescent imaging of live COS-7 cells expressing SNAP-tag® fusion proteins.

    2. SNAP-tag Overview Tutorial

      View an interactive tutorial explaining the mechanism of our SNAP-tag® technologies and reagents available for researchers wishing to study the function and localization of proteins in live or fixed cells.

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      Publications related to SNAP-tag Substrates:

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    • Naturally Secreted – Used in 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.