Cyclic AMP (cAMP) is a ubiquitous secondary signaling molecule, commonly associated with many bacterial processes, including the regulation of virulence factors, such as biofilms, pellicles and motility (Wolfgang, 2003). The quantity of available cAMP is controlled by the interplay between the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to cAMP by adenylyl cyclases, and the degradation of cAMP by phosphodiesterase (McDonough et al., 2012). Adequate quantification of cAMP levels within a bacterial cell is an important step in identifying the impact that secondary signaling molecules play on the regulatory pathway within the cell. The principle of this method is to measure total cAMP levels within a bacterial cell, using crude bacterial whole cell lysate. The Cyclic AMP XPTM Assay kit used in this protocol was originally designed to be used for determining the level of cAMP in eukaryotic cells, however, the antibodies used in coating the wells will react with cAMP from any species and thus can be used for determining levels in bacterial cells. The measurement of cAMP in prokaryotic cells described here is a simple and cost effective method of producing quantifiable results.
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