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REACTIVITY SENSITIVITY MW (kDa) Isotype
H Endogenous Mouse IgG1
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Flow cytometric analysis of HT-29 cells, untreated (blue) or UV-treated (green), using Phospho-p53 (Ser15) (16G8) Mouse mAb (Alexa Fluor® 647 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-p53 (Ser15) (16G8) Mouse mAb (Alexa Fluor® 647 Conjugate) detects endogenous levels of p53 only when phosphorylated at Ser15. The antibody does not cross-react with p53 phosphorylated at other sites.


Species Reactivity: Human

Source / Purification

Monoclonal antibody is produced by immunizing animals with a synthetic phosphopeptide corresponding to residues surrounding Ser15 of human p53 protein.

Product Description

This Cell Signaling Technology antibody is conjugated to Alexa Fluor® 647 fluorescent dye and tested in-house for direct flow cytometry and immunofluorescent analysis in human cells. The antibody is expected to exhibit the same species cross-reactivity as the unconjugated Phospho-p53 (Ser15) (16G8) Mouse mAb #9286.


The p53 tumor suppressor protein plays a major role in cellular response to DNA damage and other genomic aberrations. Activation of p53 can lead to either cell cycle arrest and DNA repair or apoptosis (1). p53 is phosphorylated at multiple sites in vivo and by several different protein kinases in vitro (2,3). DNA damage induces phosphorylation of p53 at Ser15 and Ser20 and leads to a reduced interaction between p53 and its negative regulator, the oncoprotein MDM2 (4). MDM2 inhibits p53 accumulation by targeting it for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation (5,6). p53 can be phosphorylated by ATM, ATR, and DNA-PK at Ser15 and Ser37. Phosphorylation impairs the ability of MDM2 to bind p53, promoting both the accumulation and activation of p53 in response to DNA damage (4,7). Chk2 and Chk1 can phosphorylate p53 at Ser20, enhancing its tetramerization, stability, and activity (8,9). p53 is phosphorylated at Ser392 in vivo (10,11) and by CAK in vitro (11). Phosphorylation of p53 at Ser392 is increased in human tumors (12) and has been reported to influence the growth suppressor function, DNA binding, and transcriptional activation of p53 (10,13,14). p53 is phosphorylated at Ser6 and Ser9 by CK1δ and CK1ε both in vitro and in vivo (13,15). Phosphorylation of p53 at Ser46 regulates the ability of p53 to induce apoptosis (16). Acetylation of p53 is mediated by p300 and CBP acetyltransferases. Inhibition of deacetylation suppressing MDM2 from recruiting HDAC1 complex by p19 (ARF) stabilizes p53. Acetylation appears to play a positive role in the accumulation of p53 protein in stress response (17). Following DNA damage, human p53 becomes acetylated at Lys382 (Lys379 in mouse) in vivo to enhance p53-DNA binding (18). Deacetylation of p53 occurs through interaction with the SIRT1 protein, a deacetylase that may be involved in cellular aging and the DNA damage response (19).


1.  Chehab NH et al. (1999) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 96, 13777–82

2.  Levine, A.J. (1997) Cell 88, 323-31.

3.  Meek, D.W. (1994) Semin. Cancer Biol. 5, 203-210.

4.  Milczarek, G.J. et al. (1997) Life Sci. 60, 1-11.

5.  Shieh, S.Y. et al. (1997) Cell 91, 325-334.

6.  Honda, R. et al. (1997) FEBS Lett. 420, 25-27.

7.  Tibbetts, R.S. et al. (1999) Genes Dev. 13, 152-157.

8.  Shieh, S.Y. et al. (1999) EMBO J. 18, 1815-1823.

9.  Hirao, A. et al. (2000) Science 287, 1824-1827.

10.  Hao, M. et al. (1996) J. Biol. Chem. 271, 29380-29385.

11.  Lu, H. et al. (1997) Mol. Cell. Biol. 17, 5923-5934.

12.  Ullrich, S.J. et al. (1993) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90, 5954-5958.

13.  Kohn, K.W. (1999) Mol. Biol. Cell 10, 2703-2734.

14.  Lohrum, M. and Scheidtmann, K.H. (1996) Oncogene 13, 2527-2539.

15.  Sakaguchi, K. et al. (1998) Genes Dev 12, 2831-41.

16.  Knippschild, U. et al. (1997) Oncogene 15, 1727-1736.

17.  Oda, K. et al. (2000) Cell 102, 849-862.

18.  Ito, A. et al. (2001) EMBO J. 20, 1331-1340.

19.  Solomon, J.M. et al. (2006) Mol. Cell. Biol. 26, 28-38.


Entrez-Gene Id 7157
Swiss-Prot Acc. P04637

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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.