Send to

Choose Destination
Expert Rev Proteomics. 2010 Jun;7(3):401-9. doi: 10.1586/epr.10.10.

Proximity ligation assays: a recent addition to the proteomics toolbox.

Author information

Department of Genetics and Pathology, Rudbeck laboratory, University of Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden.


An essential skill for every researcher is to learn how to select and apply the most appropriate methods for the questions they are trying to answer. With the extensive variety of methods available, it is increasingly important to scrutinize the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques prior to making a decision on which to use. In this article, we describe an approach to evaluate methods by reducing them into subcomponents. This is exemplified by a brief description of some commonly used proteomics methods. The same approach can also be used in method development by rearranging subcomponents in order to create new methods, as demonstrated with the development of proximity ligation assays (PLAs). PLA is a method as designed in our laboratory for detection of proteins, protein-protein interactions and post-translational modifications. Fundamentally, protein-recognition events are converted into detectable DNA molecules. The technique uses protein-DNA conjugates as binders for the targets of interest. Binding of two or more conjugates to the target results in assembly of an assay-specific DNA molecule. Subsequent amplification of the DNA molecule generates a signal that can be detected using PCR, for detection of minute amounts of proteins in serum, or standard fluorescence microscopy for detection of protein-protein interactions in tissue sections. Lastly, we apply the approach of recombining subcomponents to develop a few novel hypothetical methods hoping this might stimulate the readers to utilize this approach themselves.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center