Protein-Protein Interaction: Bacterial Two Hybrid

Gouzel Karimova, Emilie Gauliard, Marilyne Davi, Scot P. Ouellette, Daniel Ladant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The bacterial two-hybrid (BACTH, for "Bacterial Adenylate Cyclase-based Two-Hybrid") system is a simple and fast genetic approach to detect and characterize protein-protein interactions in vivo. This system is based on the interaction-mediated reconstitution of a cAMP signaling cascade in Escherichia coli. As BACTH uses a diffusible cAMP messenger molecule, the physical association between the two interacting chimeric proteins can be spatially separated from the transcription activation readout, and therefore, it is possible to analyze protein-protein interactions that occur either in the cytosol or at the inner membrane level as well as those that involve DNA-binding proteins. Moreover, proteins from bacterial origin can be studied in an environment similar (or identical) to their native one. The BACTH system may thus permit a simultaneous functional analysis of the proteins of interest-provided the hybrid proteins retain their activity-and their association state. This chapter describes the principle of the BACTH genetic system and the general procedures to study protein-protein interactions in vivo in E. coli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-224
Number of pages18
JournalMethods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
StatePublished - 2024


  • Chimeric proteins
  • Membrane protein
  • Protein interaction assay
  • Two-hybrid system
  • cAMP signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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