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REACTIVITY SENSITIVITY MW (kDa) Isotype
H Endogenous N/A Mouse IgG3
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Confocal immunofluorescent analysis of NTERA2 cells using SSEA4 (MC813) Mouse mAb (green). Actin filaments have been labeled with DY-554 phalloidin (red). Blue pseudocolor = DRAQ5™ (fluorescent DNA dye).

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Flow cytometric analysis of unpermeabilized Jurkat cells (blue) and unpermeabilized NTERA cells (green) using SSEA4 (MC813) Mouse mAb.

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Immunofluorescence (Immunocytochemistry)

A. Solutions and Reagents

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

  1. 20X Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS): (9808) To prepare 1L 1X PBS: add 50 ml 20X PBS to 950 ml dH2O, mix. Adjust pH to 8.0.
  2. Formaldehyde: 16%, methanol free, Polysciences, Inc. (cat# 18814), use fresh and store opened vials at 4°C in dark, dilute in 1X PBS for use.
  3. Blocking Buffer (1X PBS / 5% normal serum): To prepare 10 ml, add 0.5 ml 20X PBS, 1.25 ml normal serum from the same species as the secondary antibody (e.g., Normal Goat Serum (#5425)) and 9.0 mL dH2O and mix well.
  4. Antibody Dilution Buffer (1X PBS / 1% BSA): Add 0.1 g BSA (9998) to 10 ml 1X PBS and mix well.
  5. Recommended Fluorochrome-conjugated Anti-Mouse secondary antibodies:

    NOTE: When using any primary or fluorochrome-conjugated secondary antibody for the first time, titrate the antibody to determine which dilution allows for the strongest specific signal with the least background for your sample.

  6. Prolong® Gold AntiFade Reagent (#9071), Prolong® Gold AntiFade Reagent with DAPI (#8961).

B. Specimen Preparation - Cultured Cell Lines (IF-IC)

NOTE: Cells should be grown, treated, fixed and stained directly in multi-well plates, chamber slides or on coverslips.

  1. Aspirate liquid, then cover cells to a depth of 2–3 mm with 4% formaldehyde in 1X PBS.
    NOTE: Formaldehyde is toxic, use only in fume hood.
  2. Allow cells to fix for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Aspirate fixative, rinse three times in 1X PBS for 5 minutes each.
  4. Proceed with Immunostaining (Section C).

C. Immunostaining

NOTE: All subsequent incubations should be carried out at room temperature unless otherwise noted in a humid light-tight box or covered dish/plate to prevent drying and fluorochrome fading.

  1. Block specimen in Blocking Buffer for 60 minutes.
  2. While blocking, prepare primary antibody by diluting as indicated on datasheet in Antibody Dilution Buffer.
  3. Aspirate blocking solution, apply diluted primary antibody.
  4. Incubate overnight at 4°C.
  5. Rinse three times in 1X PBS for 5 minutes each.
  6. Incubate specimen in fluorochrome-conjugated secondary antibody diluted in Antibody Dilution Buffer for 1–2 hours at room temperature in dark.
  7. Rinse in 1X PBS as in step 5.
  8. Coverslip slides with Prolong® Gold Antifade Reagent (#9071), Prolong® Gold AntiFade Reagent with DAPI (#8961).
  9. For best results, examine specimens immediately using appropriate excitation wavelength. For long-term storage, store slides flat at 4°C protected from light.

posted December 2010

protocol id: 144

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Flow Cytometry

A. Solutions and Reagents

  1. 1X Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS): Dissolve 8 g NaCl, 0.2 g KCl, 1.44 g Na2HPO4 and 0.24 g KH2PO4 in 800 mL distilled water (dH2O). Adjust the pH to 7.4 with HCl and the volume to 1 liter. Store at room temperature.
  2. Formaldehyde (methanol free).
  3. Incubation Buffer: Dissolve 0.5 g bovine serum albumin (BSA) in 100mL 1X PBS. Store at 4°C.

B. Fixation

  1. Collect cells by centrifugation and aspirate supernatant.
  2. Resuspend cells briefly in 0.5-1 ml PBS. Add formaldehyde to a final concentration of 2-4% formaldehyde.
  3. Fix for 10 minutes at 37°C.
  4. Add 5 ml PBS and rinse by centrifugation.
  5. Resuspend cells in 5 ml PBS.
  6. Proceed with staining or store cells at +4°C in PBS with 0.1% sodium azide.

C. Staining Using Unlabeled Primary and Conjugated Secondary Antibodies

NOTE: Allow for isotype matched controls for monoclonal antibodies or species matched IgG for polyclonal antibodies. Count cells using a hemacytometer 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 rinse by centrifugation. Repeat.
  3. Resuspend cells in 100 μl Incubation Buffer per assay tube.
  4. Block in Incubation Buffer for 10 minutes at room temperature.
  5. Add the primary antibody at the appropriate dilution to the assay tubes (see individual antibody data sheet for the appropriate dilution).
  6. Incubate for 30-60 minutes at room temperature.
  7. Rinse as before in Incubation Buffer by centrifugation.
  8. Resuspend cells in fluorochrome-conjugated secondary antibody, diluted in Incubation Buffer according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  9. Incubate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  10. Rinse as before in Incubation Buffer by centrifugation.
  11. Resuspend cells in 0.5 ml PBS and analyze on flow cytometer.

*Recommended Secondary Antibodies:

Anti-Mouse

posted January 2009

protocol id: 36

Product Usage Information

Application Dilutions
Immunofluorescence 1:500
Flow Cytometry 1:200

Storage: Supplied in 10 mM sodium HEPES (pH 7.5), 150 mM NaCl, 100 µg/ml BSA, 50% glycerol and less than 0.02% sodium azide. Store at –20°C. Do not aliquot the antibody.

Specificity / Sensitivity

SSEA4 (MC813) Mouse mAb detects endogenous levels of SSEA4 antigen.


Species Reactivity: Human

Source / Purification

Monoclonal antibody is produced by injecting animals with human embryonal carcinoma 2102Ep cl.2A6 cells.

SSEA4 (stage-specific embryonic antigen 4) is a glycolipid carbohydrate epitope expressed on the surface of human teratocarcinoma stem cells, human embryonic germ cells, and human embryonic stem cells (1). Expression of human SSEA4 decreases following differentiation of human embryonal carcinoma cells. Expression of the SSEA4 antigen is absent in murine pluripotent cells, but increases following differentiation (1,2).


1.  Henderson, J.K. et al. (2002) Stem Cells 20, 329-37.

2.  Draper, J.S. et al. (2002) J Anat 200, 249-58.



For Research Use Only. Not For Use In Diagnostic Procedures.
Cell Signaling Technology® is a trademark of Cell Signaling Technology, Inc.
DRAQ5® is a registered trademark of Biostatus Limited.