A new method for quantifying the enzyme activity of DGKs

Millie Xin Barbernitz, Daniel M. Raben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs) are a family of enzymes that catalyze the ATP-dependent conversion of diacylglycerol (DAG) to phosphatidic acid (PtdOH). A common approach to examine the activity of these enzymes relys on a radiometric assay (Epand and Topham, 2007; Tu-Sekine and Raben, 2017). This assay quantifies the DGK-catalyzed incorporation of 32P into DAG from AT32P to generate 32PtdOH and is perhaps been the most widely used assay. While sensitive, its drawbacks are the expense and the potential negative impacts on health and the environment. In this report, we describe a new assay which utilizes fluorescent labeled NBD-DAG (1-Oleoyl-2-[12-[(7-nitro-2-1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl) amino] dodecanoyl]-sn-Glycero-3-diacylglycerol) to quantify the DGK-θ-catalyzed conversion of NBD-DAG to NBD-PtdOH. Furthermore, we show the assay is sufficiently sensitive as the measured specific activity was similar to that previously determined with AT32P (Tu-Sekine and Raben, 2012) and was able to detect the activation of DGK-θ by synaptotagmin-1 (Barber et al., 2022). Overall, this assay is inexpensive, sensitive, and reproducible making it an attractive alternative to currently established assays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100998
JournalAdvances in Biological Regulation
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • DGK
  • Enzyme activity
  • NBD-PtdOH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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