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REACTIVITY SENSITIVITY MW (kDa) Isotype
H M R Endogenous Rabbit IgG
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Flow Cytometry

Flow cytometric analysis of Jurkat cells, untreated (green) or LY294002 and wortmannin treated (blue), using Phospho-Akt (Ser473) (193H12) Rabbit mAb (Alexa Fluor® 488 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 antibody. Protect from light. Do not freeze.

Specificity / Sensitivity

Phospho-Akt (Ser473) (193H12) Rabbit mAb (Alexa Fluor® 488 Conjugate) detects endogenous levels of Akt only when phosphorylated at Ser473.


Species Reactivity: Human, Mouse, Rat

Source / Purification

Monoclonal antibody is produced by immunizing animals with a synthetic phosphopeptide corresponding to residues around Ser473 of mouse Akt. The antibody was conjugated to Alexa Fluor® 488 under optimal conditions with an F/P ratio of 2-6.

Product Description

This Cell Signaling Technology antibody is conjugated to Alexa Fluor® 488 fluorescent dye and tested in-house for direct flow cytometric analysis of human cells. The unconjugated Phospho-Akt (Ser473) (193H12) Rabbit mAb #4058 reacts with phospho-Akt (Ser473) from human, mouse and rat. CST expects that Phospho-Akt (Ser473) (193H12) Rabbit mAb (Alexa Fluor® 488 Conjugate) will also recognize phospho-Akt (Ser473) in these species.


Akt, also referred to as PKB or Rac, plays a critical role in controlling survival and apoptosis (1-3). This protein kinase is activated by insulin and various growth and survival factors to function in a wortmannin-sensitive pathway involving PI3 kinase (2,3). Akt is activated by phospholipid binding and activation loop phosphorylation at Thr308 by PDK1 (4) and by phosphorylation within the carboxy terminus at Ser473. The previously elusive PDK2 responsible for phosphorylation of Akt at Ser473 has been identified as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in a rapamycin-insensitive complex with rictor and Sin1 (5,6). Akt promotes cell survival by inhibiting apoptosis through phosphorylation and inactivation of several targets, including Bad (7), forkhead transcription factors (8), c-Raf (9), and caspase-9. PTEN phosphatase is a major negative regulator of the PI3 kinase/Akt signaling pathway (10). LY294002 is a specific PI3 kinase inhibitor (11). Another essential Akt function is the regulation of glycogen synthesis through phosphorylation and inactivation of GSK-3α and β (12,13). Akt may also play a role in insulin stimulation of glucose transport (12). In addition to its role in survival and glycogen synthesis, Akt is involved in cell cycle regulation by preventing GSK-3β-mediated phosphorylation and degradation of cyclin D1 (14) and by negatively regulating the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors p27 Kip1 (15) and p21 Waf1/Cip1 (16). Akt also plays a critical role in cell growth by directly phosphorylating mTOR in a rapamycin-sensitive complex containing raptor (17). More importantly, Akt phosphorylates and inactivates tuberin (TSC2), an inhibitor of mTOR within the mTOR-raptor complex (18,19).


1.  Franke, T.F. et al. (1997) Cell 88, 435-7.

2.  Burgering, B.M. and Coffer, P.J. (1995) Nature 376, 599-602.

3.  Franke, T.F. et al. (1995) Cell 81, 727-36.

4.  Cross, D.A. et al. (1995) Nature 378, 785-9.

5.  Alessi, D.R. et al. (1996) EMBO J 15, 6541-51.

6.  Sarbassov, D.D. et al. (2005) Science 307, 1098-101.

7.  Diehl, J.A. et al. (1998) Genes Dev 12, 3499-511.

8.  Jacinto, E. et al. (2006) Cell 127, 125-37.

9.  Cardone, M.H. et al. (1998) Science 282, 1318-21.

10.  Brunet, A. et al. (1999) Cell 96, 857-68.

11.  Zimmermann, S. and Moelling, K. (1999) Science 286, 1741-4.

12.  Cantley, L.C. and Neel, B.G. (1999) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 96, 4240-5.

13.  Vlahos, C.J. et al. (1994) J Biol Chem 269, 5241-8.

14.  Hajduch, E. et al. (2001) FEBS Lett 492, 199-203.

15.  Gesbert, F. et al. (2000) J Biol Chem 275, 39223-30.

16.  Zhou, B.P. et al. (2001) Nat Cell Biol 3, 245-52.

17.  Navé, B.T. et al. (1999) Biochem J 344 Pt 2, 427-31.

18.  Inoki, K. et al. (2002) Nat Cell Biol 4, 648-57.

19.  Manning, B.D. et al. (2002) Mol Cell 10, 151-62.


Entrez-Gene Id 207 , 208 , 10000
Swiss-Prot Acc. P31749 , P31751 , Q9Y243

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Min YH et al. (2004) Cancer Res 64, 5225–31

Tazzari PL et al. (2004) Br J Haematol 126, 675–81

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Kaneko Y et al. (2004) J Cell Sci 117, 407–15

Esfandiarei M et al. (2004) J Virol 78, 4289–98

Baudhuin LM et al. (2004) FASEB J 18, 341–3

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Wu T et al. (2004) Mol Cancer Ther 3, 299–307

Honjo S et al. (2005) DNA Cell Biol 24, 141–7

Karlsson HK et al. (2005) Diabetes 54, 1459–67

Viniegra JG et al. (2005) J Biol Chem 280, 4029–36

Le XF et al. (2005) J Biol Chem 280, 2092–104

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Jung HS et al. (2005) Mol Endocrinol 19, 2748–59

Khundmiri SJ et al. (2006) Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 291, C1247–57

Hers I and (2007) Blood 110, 4243–52

Ananthanarayanan B et al. (2007) J Biol Chem 282, 36634–41

Zunder ER et al. (2008) Cancer Cell 14, 180–92

Grenegård M et al. (2008) J Biol Chem 283, 18493–504

Abubaker J et al. (2009) Mol Cancer 8, 51

Chen PL and Easton AS (2011) Curr Neurovasc Res 8, 14–24

Van Aller GS et al. (2011) Biochem Biophys Res Commun 406, 194–9

Uesugi A et al. (2011) Cancer Res 71, 5765–78

Ou YH et al. (2011) Mol Cell 41, 458–70

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Misra UK and Pizzo SV (2012) J Cell Biochem 113, 1488–500

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Zhang M and Riedel H (2009) J Cell Biochem 107, 65–75


For Research Use Only. Not For Use In Diagnostic Procedures.
Cell Signaling Technology® is a trademark of Cell Signaling Technology, Inc.
The Alexa Fluor® dye antibody conjugates in this product are sold under license from Life Technologies Corporation for research use only, except for use in combination with DNA microarrays. The Alexa Fluor® dyes (except for Alexa Fluor® 430 dye) are covered by pending and issued patents. Alexa Fluor® is a registered trademark of Molecular Probes, Inc.
U.S. Patent No. 5,675,063.