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REACTIVITY SENSITIVITY MW (kDa) Isotype
H M R Mk Endogenous 57 Rabbit IgG
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Flow cytometric analysis of MCF7 (blue) and HeLa (green) cells using Vimentin (D21H3) XP® Rabbit mAb (PE Conjugate).

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Flow Cytometry General Protocol

If using whole blood, please follow the Flow Cytometry Whole Blood Protocol.

A. Solutions and Reagents

NOTE: Prepare solutions with reverse osmosis deionized (RODI) or equivalent grade water.

  1. 20X Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS): (#9808) To prepare 1 L 1X PBS: add 50 ml 20X PBS to 950 ml dH2O, mix.
  2. 16% Formaldehyde (methanol free).
  3. 100% methanol.
  4. Incubation Buffer: Dissolve 0.5 g Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) (#9998) in 100 ml 1X PBS. Store at 4°C.

B. Fixation

  1. Collect cells by centrifugation and aspirate supernatant.
  2. Resuspend cells in 0.5–1 ml 1X PBS. Add formaldehyde to obtain a final concentration of 4%.
  3. Fix for 10 min at 37°C.
  4. Chill tubes on ice for 1 min.
  5. For extracellular staining with antibodies that do not require permeabilization, proceed to immunostaining (Section D) or store cells in PBS with 0.1% sodium azide at 4°C; for intracellular staining, proceed to permeabilization (Section C).

C. Permeabilization

NOTE: This step is critical for many CST antibodies.

  1. Permeabilize cells by adding ice-cold 100% methanol slowly to pre-chilled cells, while gently vortexing, to a final concentration of 90% methanol. Alternatively, remove fix prior to permeabilization by centrifugation and resuspend in 90% methanol as described above.
  2. Incubate 30 min on ice.
  3. Proceed with immunostaining (Section D) or store cells at -20°C in 90% methanol.

D. Immunostaining

NOTE: Account for isotype matched controls for monoclonal antibodies or species matched IgG for polyclonal antibodies. Count cells using a hemocytometer or alternative method.

  1. Aliquot 0.5–1 x 106 cells into each assay tube (by volume).
  2. Add 2–3 ml incubation buffer to each tube and wash by centrifugation. Repeat.
  3. Resuspend cells in 100 µl of diluted primary antibody (prepared in incubation buffer at the recommended dilution).
  4. Incubate for 1 hr at room temperature.
  5. Wash by centrifugation in 2–3 ml incubation buffer.
  6. Resuspend cells in 0.5 ml PBS and analyze on flow cytometer; alternatively, for DNA staining, proceed to optional DNA stain (Section E).

E. Optional DNA Dye

  1. Resuspend cells in 0.5 ml of DNA dye (e.g. Propidium Iodide (PI)/RNase Staining Solution #4087).
  2. Incubate for at least 30 min at room temperature.
  3. Analyze cells in DNA staining solution on flow cytometer.

posted July 2009

revised September 2013

Flow Cytometry Whole Blood Protocol

If using cell lines, please follow the Flow Cytometry General Protocol.

A. Solutions and Reagents

NOTE: Prepare solutions with reverse osmosis deionized (RODI) or equivalent grade water.

  1. 20X Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS): (#9808) To prepare 1 L 1X PBS: add 50 ml 20X PBS to 950 ml dH2O, mix.
  2. 16% Formaldehyde (methanol free).
  3. Triton™ X-100: To prepare 50 ml of 0.1% Triton™ X-100 add 50 μl Triton™ X-100 to 50 ml 1 X PBS and mix well.
  4. 50% methanol.
  5. Incubation Buffer: Dissolve 0.5 g Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) (#9998) in 100 ml 1X PBS. Store at 4°C.

B. Preparation of Whole Blood (fixation, lysis, and permeabilization) for Immunostaining

  1. Aliquot 100 μl fresh whole blood per assay tube.
  2. OPTIONAL: Place tubes in rack in 37°C water bath for short-term treatments with ligands, inhibitors, drugs, etc.
  3. Add 65 μl of 10% formaldehyde to each tube.
  4. Vortex briefly and let stand for 15 min at room temperature.
  5. Add 1 ml of 0.1% Triton™ X-100 to each tube.
  6. Vortex and let stand for 30 min at room temperature.
  7. Add 1 ml incubation buffer.
  8. Pellet cells by centrifugation and aspirate supernatant.
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8.
  10. Resuspend cells in ice-cold 50% methanol in PBS (store methanol solution at -20°C until use).
  11. Incubate at least 10 min on ice.
  12. Proceed with staining or store cells at -20°C in 50% methanol.

C. Staining Using Conjugated Primary Antibodies

NOTE: Account for isotype-matched controls for monoclonal antibodies or species matched IgG for polyclonal antibodies.

  1. Add 2–3 ml incubation buffer to each tube and rinse by centrifugation. Repeat.
  2. Add primary antibodies diluted as recommended on datasheet or product webpage in incubation buffer.
  3. Incubate for 1 hr at room temperature.
  4. Wash by centrifugation in 2–3 ml incubation buffer.
  5. Resuspend cells in 0.5 ml PBS and analyze on flow cytometer.

Reference: Chow S, Hedley D, Grom P, Magari R, Jacobberger JW, Shankey TV (2005) Whole blood fixation and permeabilization protocol with red blood cell lysis for flow cytometry of intracellular phosphorylated epitopes in leukocyte subpopulations. Cytometry A 67(1), 4–17.

posted November 2008

revised September 2013

protocol id: 407

Product Usage Information

Application Dilutions
Flow Cytometry 1:50

Storage: Supplied in PBS (pH 7.2), less than 0.1% sodium azide and 2 mg/ml BSA. Store at 4°C. Do not aliquot the antibodies. Protect from light. Do not freeze.

Specificity / Sensitivity

Vimentin (D21H3) XP® Rabbit mAb (PE Conjugate) detects endogenous levels of total vimentin protein.


Species Reactivity: Human, Mouse, Rat, Monkey

Source / Purification

Monoclonal antibody is produced by immunizing animals with a synthetic peptide corresponding to residues surrounding Arg45 of human vimentin protein.

Product Description

This Cell Signaling Technology antibody is conjugated to phycoerythrin (PE) and tested in-house for direct flow cytometry analysis in human cells. The antibody is expected to exhibit the same species cross-reactivity as the unconjugated Vimentin (D21H3) XP® Rabbit mAb #5741.


The cytoskeleton consists of three types of cytosolic fibers: microfilaments (actin filaments), intermediate filaments, and microtubules. Major types of intermediate filaments are distinguished by their cell-specific expression: cytokeratins (epithelial cells), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) (glial cells), desmin (skeletal, visceral, and certain vascular smooth muscle cells), vimentin (mesenchyme origin), and neurofilaments (neurons). GFAP and vimentin form intermediate filaments in astroglial cells and modulate their motility and shape (1). In particular, vimentin filaments are present at early developmental stages, while GFAP filaments are characteristic of differentiated and mature brain astrocytes. Thus, GFAP is commonly used as a marker for intracranial and intraspinal tumors arising from astrocytes (2). Research studies have shown that vimentin is present in sarcomas, but not carcinomas, and its expression is examined in conjunction with that of other markers to distinguish between the two (3). Vimentin's dynamic structural changes and spatial re-organization in response to extracellular stimuli help to coordinate various signaling pathways (4). Phosphorylation of vimentin at Ser56 in smooth muscle cells regulates the structural arrangement of vimentin filaments in response to serotonin (5,6). Remodeling of vimentin and other intermediate filaments is important during lymphocyte adhesion and migration through the endothelium (7).

During mitosis, CDK1 phosphorylates vimentin at Ser56. This phosphorylation provides a PLK binding site for vimentin-PLK interaction. PLK further phosphorylates vimentin at Ser82, which might serve as memory phosphorylation site and play a regulatory role in vimentin filament disassembly (8,9). Additionally, studies using various soft-tissue sarcoma cells have shown that phosphorylation of vimentin at Ser39 by Akt1 enhances cell migration and survival, suggesting that vimentin could be a potential target for soft-tissue sarcoma targeted therapy (10,11).


1.  Eng, L.F. et al. (2000) Neurochem Res 25, 1439-51.

2.  Goebel, H.H. et al. (1987) Acta Histochem Suppl 34, 81-93.

3.  Leader, M. et al. (1987) Histopathology 11, 63-72.

4.  Helfand, B.T. et al. (2004) J Cell Sci 117, 133-41.

5.  Tang, D.D. et al. (2005) Biochem J 388, 773-83.

6.  Fomina, I.G. et al. (1990) Klin Med (Mosk) 68, 125-7.

7.  Nieminen, M. et al. (2006) Nat Cell Biol 8, 156-62.

8.  Yamaguchi, T. et al. (2005) J Cell Biol 171, 431-6.

9.  Oguri, T. et al. (2006) Genes Cells 11, 531-40.

10.  Zhu, Q.S. et al. (2011) Oncogene 30, 457-70.

11.  Xue, G. and Hemmings, B.A. (2013) J Natl Cancer Inst 105, 393-404.


Entrez-Gene Id 7431
Swiss-Prot Acc. P08670


For Research Use Only. Not For Use In Diagnostic Procedures.
Cell Signaling Technology® is a trademark of Cell Signaling Technology, Inc.
XP® is a trademark of Cell Signaling Technology, Inc.