Reporter Assay Services: Fast & Comprehensive Screening Within Your Reach

Easily find the assay or panel that meets your needs with INDIGO’s extensive receptor assay portfolio. Simply send your samples and obtain high-quality study reports and data files in a timely manner.

All our Reporter Assay Services include a positive control reference so you can move forward with your data confidently.

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Obtain Clear & Extensive Screening Data Quickly from Our Expert Scientists


A Comprehensive Portfolio to Find Your Answers

Browse and choose from the world’s largest nuclear receptor assay library, including more than 40 ortholog assays.


Reliable, Cost-Effective Data in Record Time

Our cost-effective reporter assay services and in-house expertise allow you to quickly unlock crucial information without sacrificing data quality.


Dedicated Technical Support Team

Speak with the scientist conducting your study as needed, and get a comprehensive review of your results once your service study is complete.

Applications for INDIGO’s Luciferase Reporter Assays


Rapidly evaluate the efficacy and safety profile of a drug candidate with INDIGO’s Reporter Assay Services and streamline the development process to safer, more effective pharmaceutical agents.


Effectively screen environmental samples, with INDIGO’s Reporter Assay Services and actively contribute to building a safer environment.


Quickly gain insights into the mechanisms underlying the involvement of key receptors in various diseases with INDIGO’s Reporter Assay Services.

Get Started in Three Simple Steps

Design your next study rapidly and confidently with our expert team.


Step 1: Request a Quote in One Click

Fill out a Request a Quote form and tell us more about your study and objectives.


Step 2: Design Your Service Study with Our Scientists

Receive your quote and a custom draft of your Service Work Order.

Review and adjust to fit your needs.


Step 3: Send Your Samples and Get Your Results

Provide your samples or compounds, and we will do the rest.

Receive a complete data package and clear study reports in record time!

Transform your vision into clear results today.


Alfaxalone is a fast acting intravenous anaesthetic with high therapeutic index. It is an analogue of the naturally-occurring neurosteroid allopregnanolone responsible for maintenance of cognition and neuroprotection by activation of brain pregnane X receptors and consequent increased production of mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (m-BDNF). Two studies are reported here: an in vitro study investigated whether alfaxalone activates human pregnane X receptors (h-PXR) as effectively as allopregnanolone; and a clinical study that measured postoperative changes in serum m-BDNF and cognition in patients after alfaxalone anaesthesia compared with propofol and sevoflurane.
Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP) is an organophosphate flame retardant. The primary TDCPP metabolite, bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCPP), is detectable in the urine of over 90 % of Americans. Epidemiological studies show sex-specific associations between urinary BDCPP levels and metabolic syndrome, which is an established risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. We used a mouse model to determine whether TDCPP exposure disrupts glucose homeostasis. Six-week old male and female C57BL/6J mice were given ad libitum access to diets containing vehicle (0.1 % DMSO) and TDCPP resulting in the following treatment groups: 0 mg/kg/day, 0.02 mg/kg/day, 1 mg/kg/day, or 100 mg/kg/day. After being on the experimental diet for five weeks without interruption, body composition was analyzed, glucose and insulin tolerance tests were performed, and fasting glucose and insulin levels were quantified. TDCPP at 100 mg/kg/day caused male sex-specific adiposity, fasting hyperglycemia, and insulin resistance. TDCPP-induced modulation of nuclear receptor activation was investigated using an in vitro screen to identify potential mechanisms of metabolic disruption. TDCPP activated farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and pregnane X receptor (PXR), and inhibited the androgen receptor (AR). PXR target genes, but not FXR target genes, were upregulated in livers from mice exposed to 100 mg TDCPP/kg/day. Interestingly, PXR target genes were differentially expressed in livers from both males and females. It remains to be determined whether TDCPP-induced metabolic disruption occurs via modulation of nuclear receptor activity. Taken together, these studies build upon the association of TDCPP exposure and metabolic syndrome in humans by identifying sex-specific effects of TDCPP on glucose homeostasis in mice.
Regeneration of myelin is mediated by oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), an abundant stem cell population in the CNS and the principal source of new myelinating oligodendrocytes. Loss of myelin-producing oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS) underlies a number of neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and diverse genetic diseases1–3. Using high throughput chemical screening approaches, we and others have identified small molecules that stimulate oligodendrocyte formation from OPCs and functionally enhance remyelination in vivo4–10. Here we show a broad range of these pro-myelinating small molecules function not through their canonical targets but by directly inhibiting CYP51 (cytochrome P450, family 51), TM7SF2, or EBP (emopamil binding protein), a narrow range of enzymes within the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway. Subsequent accumulation of the 8,9-unsaturated sterol substrates of these enzymes is a key mechanistic node that promotes oligodendrocyte formation, as 8,9-unsaturated sterols are effective when supplied to OPCs in purified form while analogous sterols lacking this structural feature have no effect. Collectively, our results define a unifying sterol-based mechanism-of-action for most known small-molecule enhancers of oligodendrocyte formation and highlight specific targets to propel the development of optimal remyelinating therapeutics.

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Frequently Asked Questions

INDIGO’s assays are not binding assays. They are cell-based trans-activation assays, and the principal application is in the screening of test samples to quantify any functional activity, either agonist or antagonist, that the compounds may exert against the nuclear receptors. INDIGO reporter systems utilize firefly luciferase reporter gene technology, and while there is a binding taking place, our assays do not measure it. Instead, the luciferase light response is measured which correlates to the activation status of the receptor (either activation or inhibition).

Quantifying changes in luciferase expression in the treated reporter cells provides a sensitive surrogate measure of the changes in receptor activity. It will tell the scientist the significance (strength) of the interaction by the level of light emitted. In addition, cell-based assays are more sensitive and able to detect smaller levels of activation.

INDIGO’s nuclear receptor assays utilize proprietary human and non-human mammalian cells engineered to provide constitutive, high-level expression of the designated receptor. Specific cell type information for each assay is proprietary and available only through consultation with INDIGO’s technical team following a screening service or assay kit purchase.

Reporter cells included in INIDIGO’s steroid hormone nuclear assay kits (ERα, ERβ, AR, PGR, MR, GR) express the native, full-length receptors. INDIGO’s other nuclear receptor assays, however, include reporter cells that express hybrid nuclear receptors. In these cases, the respective receptor’s native N-terminal sequence comprising the DNA Binding Domain (DBD) has been replaced with sequence encoding the yeast Gal4-DBD. All other native NR functional/structural domains (ligand binding domain, hinge region, and various activation domains) are present in these hybrid receptors. These reporter cells also contain the firefly luciferase reporter gene functionally linked to the upstream genetic response element for Gal4.

Consequently, once a bioactive compound associates with the ligand binding domain of the hybrid receptor, only the luciferase reporter gene is induced. Ligand-activation of the hybrid receptor will not induce collateral expression of target genes that are otherwise regulated by the native nuclear receptor.

View our list of reference compounds. We do utilize commercially available reference agonists for our assays, and this reference agonist is included in each assay kit. We do use reference antagonists where a reference is known and commercially available. Some of our antagonist assays do not have reference antagonists available.

Treatment concentrations are prepared at INDIGO using serial dilutions in fixed increments; the starting concentration and increment of dilution is specified by the customer via our Study Work Order sheet that accompanies all screening studies. For accurate determination of EC50 and/or IC50 values, we recommend at minimum spanning a 5,000-fold concentration range over 8 doses. This strategy requires a 3.33-fold or 4-fold increment of serial dilution. The minimum doses recommended for EC50 and/or IC50 value is 7 test concentrations.

Upon completion of your study, you will receive a detailed study report (PDF format) including all assay methods and validation, the raw data and calculations of your study (Excel format), and graphing files of all data (GraphPad Prism format). In addition, you are always welcome to contact INDIGO’s team for assistance in interpretation of your data.

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