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Western Blotting Protocol

For western blots, incubate membrane with diluted primary antibody in 5% w/v BSA, 1X TBS, 0.1% Tween® 20 at 4°C with gentle shaking, overnight.

NOTE: Please refer to primary antibody datasheet or product webpage for recommended antibody dilution.

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. 10X Tris Buffered Saline (TBS): (#12498) To prepare 1 L 1X TBS: add 100 ml 10X to 900 ml dH2O, mix.
  3. 1X SDS Sample Buffer: Blue Loading Pack (#7722) or Red Loading Pack (#7723) Prepare fresh 3X reducing loading buffer by adding 1/10 volume 30X DTT to 1 volume of 3X SDS loading buffer. Dilute to 1X with dH2O.
  4. 10X Tris-Glycine SDS Running Buffer: (#4050) To prepare 1 L 1X running buffer: add 100 ml 10X running buffer to 900 ml dH2O, mix.
  5. 10X Tris-Glycine Transfer Buffer: (#12539) To prepare 1 L 1X Transfer Buffer: add 100 ml 10X Transfer Buffer to 200 ml methanol + 700 ml dH2O, mix.
  6. 10X Tris Buffered Saline with Tween® 20 (TBST): (#9997) To prepare 1 L 1X TBST: add 100 ml 10X TBST to 900 ml dH2O, mix.
  7. Nonfat Dry Milk: (#9999).
  8. Blocking Buffer: 1X TBST with 5% w/v nonfat dry milk; for 150 ml, add 7.5 g nonfat dry milk to 150 ml 1X TBST and mix well.
  9. Wash Buffer: (#9997) 1X TBST.
  10. Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA): (#9998).
  11. Primary Antibody Dilution Buffer: 1X TBST with 5% BSA; for 20 ml, add 1.0 g BSA to 20 ml 1X TBST and mix well.
  12. Biotinylated Protein Ladder Detection Pack: (#7727).
  13. Prestained Protein Marker, Broad Range (Premixed Format): (#7720).
  14. Blotting Membrane and Paper: (#12369) This protocol has been optimized for nitrocellulose membranes. Pore size 0.2 µm is generally recommended.
  15. Secondary Antibody Conjugated to HRP: Anti-mouse IgG, HRP-linked Antibody (#7076).
  16. Detection Reagent: SignalFire™ ECL Reagent (#6883).

B. Protein Blotting

A general protocol for sample preparation.

  1. Treat cells by adding fresh media containing regulator for desired time.
  2. Aspirate media from cultures; wash cells with 1X PBS; aspirate.
  3. Lyse cells by adding 1X SDS sample buffer (100 µl per well of 6-well plate or 500 µl for a 10 cm diameter plate). Immediately scrape the cells off the plate and transfer the extract to a microcentrifuge tube. Keep on ice.
  4. Sonicate for 10–15 sec to complete cell lysis and shear DNA (to reduce sample viscosity).
  5. Heat a 20 µl sample to 95–100°C for 5 min; cool on ice.
  6. Microcentrifuge for 5 min.
  7. Load 20 µl onto SDS-PAGE gel (10 cm x 10 cm).

    NOTE: Loading of prestained molecular weight markers (#7720, 10 µl/lane) to verify electrotransfer and biotinylated protein ladder (#7727, 10 µl/lane) to determine molecular weights are recommended.

  8. Electrotransfer to nitrocellulose membrane (#12369).

C. Membrane Blocking and Antibody Incubations

NOTE: Volumes are for 10 cm x 10 cm (100 cm2) of membrane; for different sized membranes, adjust volumes accordingly.

I. Membrane Blocking

  1. (Optional) After transfer, wash nitrocellulose membrane with 25 ml TBS for 5 min at room temperature.
  2. Incubate membrane in 25 ml of blocking buffer for 1 hr at room temperature.
  3. Wash three times for 5 min each with 15 ml of TBST.

II. Primary Antibody Incubation

  1. Incubate membrane and primary antibody (at the appropriate dilution and diluent as recommended in the product datasheet) in 10 ml primary antibody dilution buffer with gentle agitation overnight at 4°C.
  2. Wash three times for 5 min each with 15 ml of TBST.
  3. Incubate membrane with Anti-mouse IgG, HRP-linked Antibody (#7076 at 1:2000) and Anti-biotin, HRP-linked Antibody (#7075 at 1:1000–1:3000) to detect biotinylated protein markers in 10 ml of blocking buffer with gentle agitation for 1 hr at room temperature.
  4. Wash three times for 5 min each with 15 ml of TBST.
  5. Proceed with detection (Section D).

D. Detection of Proteins

Directions for Use:

  1. Wash membrane-bound HRP (antibody conjugate) three times for 5 minutes in TBST.
  2. Prepare 1X SignalFire™ ECL Reagent (#6883) by diluting one part 2X Reagent A and one part 2X Reagent B (e.g. for 10 ml, add 5 ml Reagent A and 5 ml Reagent B). Mix well.
  3. Incubate substrate with membrane for 1 minute, remove excess solution (membrane remains wet), wrap in plastic and expose to X-ray film.

* Avoid repeated exposure to skin.

posted June 2005

revised November 2013

protocol id: 262

Western Blot Reprobing Protocol

Reprobing of an existing membrane is a convenient means to immunoblot for multiple proteins independently when only a limited amount of sample is available. It should be noted that for the best possible results a fresh blot is always recommended. Reprobing can be a valuable method but with each reprobing of a blot there is potential for increased background signal. Additionally, it is recommended that you verify the removal of the first antibody complex prior to reprobing so that signal attributed to binding of the new antibody is not leftover signal from the first immunoblotting experiment. This can be done by re-exposing the blot to ECL reagents and making sure there is no signal prior to adding the next primary antibody.

A. Solutions and Reagents

NOTE: Prepare solutions with reverse osmosis deionized (RODI) or equivalently purified water.

  1. Wash Buffer: Tris Buffered Saline with Tween® 20 (TBST-10X) (#9997)
  2. Stripping Buffer: To prepare 100 ml, mix 0.76 g Tris base, 2 g SDS and 700 μl β-mercaptoethanol. Bring to 100 ml with deionized H2O. Adjust pH to 6.8 with HCl.

B. Protocol

  1. After film exposure, wash membrane four times for 5 min each in TBST. Best results are obtained if the membrane is not allowed to dry.
  2. Incubate membrane for 30 min at 50°C in stripping buffer (with slight agitation).
  3. Wash membrane six times for 5 min each in TBST.
  4. (Optional) To assure that the original signal is removed, wash membrane twice for 5 min each with 10 ml of TBST. Incubate membrane with LumiGLO® with gentle agitation for 1 min at room temperature. Drain membrane of excess developing solution. Do not let dry. Wrap in plastic wrap and expose to x-ray film.
  5. Wash membrane again four times for 5 min each in TBST.
  6. The membrane is now ready to reuse. Start detection at the "Membrane Blocking and Antibody Incubations" step in the Western Immunoblotting Protocol.

posted June 2005

Immunoprecipitation for Analysis by Western Blotting

This protocol is intended for immunoprecipitation of native proteins for analysis by western immunoblot or kinase activity.

A. Solutions and Reagents

NOTE: Prepare solutions with reverse osmosis deionized (RODI) or equivalently purified water.

  1. 20X Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS): (#9808).
  2. 10X Cell Lysis Buffer: (#9803) 20 mM Tris (pH 7.5), 150 mM NaCl, 1 mM EDTA, 1 mM EGTA, 1% Triton X-100, 2.5 mM Sodium pyrophosphate, 1 mM β-glycerophosphate, 1 mM Na3VO4, 1 μg/ml Leupeptin

    NOTE: CST recommends adding 1 mM PMSF (#8553) before use*.

  1. 3X SDS Sample Buffer: (#7722) 187.5 mM Tris-HCl (pH 6.8 at 25°C), 6% w/v SDS, 30% glycerol, 150 mM DTT, 0.03% w/v bromophenol blue
  2. 10X Kinase Buffer (for kinase assays): (#9802) To Prepare 1 ml of 1X kinase buffer, add 100 µl 10X kinase buffer to 900 µl dH2O, mix.
  3. ATP (10 mM) (for kinase assays): (#9804) To prepare 0.5 ml of ATP (200 µM), add 10 µl ATP (10 mM) to 490 µl 1X kinase buffer.

B. Preparing Cell Lysates

  1. Aspirate media. Treat cells by adding fresh media containing regulator for desired time.
  2. To harvest cells under nondenaturing conditions, remove media and rinse cells once with ice-cold PBS.
  3. Remove PBS and add 0.5 ml 1X ice-cold cell lysis buffer to each plate (10 cm) and incubate the plates on ice for 5 minutes.
  4. Scrape cells off the plates and transfer to microcentrifuge tubes. Keep on ice.
  5. Sonicate samples on ice three times for 5 seconds each.
  6. Microcentrifuge for 10 minutes at 4°C, 14,000 x g, and transfer the supernatant to a new tube. If necessary, lysate can be stored at –80°C.

C. Immunoprecipitation

  1. Take 200 μl cell lysate and add 10 μl of the immobilized antibody, incubate with rotation overnight at 4°C.
  2. Microcentrifuge for 30 seconds at 4°C. Wash pellet five times with 500 μl of 1X cell lysis buffer. Keep on ice during washes.
  3. Proceed to sample analysis by western blotting or kinase activity (section D).

D. Sample Analysis

Proceed to one of the following specific set of steps.

For Analysis by Western Immunoblotting

  1. Resuspend the pellet with 20 µl 3X SDS sample buffer. Vortex, then microcentrifuge for 30 sec at 14,000 x g.
  2. Heat the sample to 95–100°C for 2-5 min and microcentrifuge for 1 min at 14,000 x g.
  3. Load the sample (15–30 µl) on a 4–20% gel for SDS-PAGE.
  4. Analyze sample by western blot (see Western Immunoblotting Protocol).

NOTE: To minimize masking caused by denatured IgG heavy chains (~50 kDa), we recommend using Mouse Anti-Rabbit IgG (Light-Chain Specific) (L57A3) mAb (#3677) or Mouse Anti-Rabbit IgG (Conformation Specific) (L27A9) mAb (#3678) (or HRP conjugate #5127). To minimize masking caused by denatured IgG light chains (~25 kDa), we recommend using Mouse Anti-Rabbit IgG (Conformation Specific) (L27A9) mAb (#3678) (or HRP conjugate #5127).

For Analysis by Kinase Assay

  1. Wash pellet twice with 500 µl 1X kinase buffer. Keep on ice.
  2. Suspend pellet in 40 µl 1X kinase buffer supplemented with 200 µM ATP and appropriate substrate.
  3. Incubate for 30 min at 30°C.
  4. Terminate reaction with 20 µl 3X SDS sample buffer. Vortex, then microcentrifuge for 30 sec.
  5. Transfer supernatant containing phosphorylated substrate to another tube.
  6. Heat the sample to 95–100°C for 2–5 min and microcentrifuge for 1 min at 14,000 x g.
  7. Load the sample (15–30 µl) on SDS-PAGE (4–20%).

posted December 2007

protocol id: 27

Product Description

Nonradioactive p44/42 MAP Kinase Assay Kit provides all the reagents necessary for measuring p44/42 MAP kinase activity in the cell. Immobilized Phospho-p44/42 MAPK (Thr202/Tyr204) mAb is used to immunoprecipitate active p44/42 MAP kinase from cell extracts, then an in vitro kinase assay is performed using Elk-1 protein as a substrate. Elk-1 phosphorylation is then detected by Western blotting using Phospho-Elk-1 (Ser383) Antibody.


Specificity / Sensitivity


Species Reactivity: Human, Mouse, Rat

Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are a widely conserved family of serine/threonine protein kinases involved in many cellular programs, such as cell proliferation, differentiation, motility, and death. The p44/42 MAPK (Erk1/2) signaling pathway can be activated in response to a diverse range of extracellular stimuli including mitogens, growth factors, and cytokines (1-3), and research investigators consider it an important target in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer (4). Upon stimulation, a sequential three-part protein kinase cascade is initiated, consisting of a MAP kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK or MAP3K), a MAP kinase kinase (MAPKK or MAP2K), and a MAP kinase (MAPK). Multiple p44/42 MAP3Ks have been identified, including members of the Raf family, as well as Mos and Tpl2/COT. MEK1 and MEK2 are the primary MAPKKs in this pathway (5,6). MEK1 and MEK2 activate p44 and p42 through phosphorylation of activation loop residues Thr202/Tyr204 and Thr185/Tyr187, respectively. Several downstream targets of p44/42 have been identified, including p90RSK (7) and the transcription factor Elk-1 (8,9). p44/42 are negatively regulated by a family of dual-specificity (Thr/Tyr) MAPK phosphatases, known as DUSPs or MKPs (10), along with MEK inhibitors, such as U0126 and PD98059.


1.  Roux, P.P. and Blenis, J. (2004) Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 68, 320-44.

2.  Baccarini, M. (2005) FEBS Lett 579, 3271-7.

3.  Meloche, S. and Pouysségur, J. (2007) Oncogene 26, 3227-39.

4.  Roberts, P.J. and Der, C.J. (2007) Oncogene 26, 3291-310.

5.  Rubinfeld, H. and Seger, R. (2005) Mol Biotechnol 31, 151-74.

6.  Murphy, L.O. and Blenis, J. (2006) Trends Biochem Sci 31, 268-75.

7.  Dalby, K.N. et al. (1998) J Biol Chem 273, 1496-505.

8.  Marais, R. et al. (1993) Cell 73, 381-93.

9.  Kortenjann, M. et al. (1994) Mol Cell Biol 14, 4815-24.

10.  Owens, D.M. and Keyse, S.M. (2007) Oncogene 26, 3203-13.


Entrez-Gene Id 5595, 5594
Swiss-Prot Acc. P27361, P28482

Data Sheets & Documentation


For Research Use Only. Not For Use In Diagnostic Procedures.
Cell Signaling Technology® is a trademark of Cell Signaling Technology, Inc.
LumiGLO® is a registered trademark of Kirkegaard & Perry Laboratories.