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Western Blotting Protocol (Primary Ab Incubation In BSA)

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

Products available from Cell Signaling Technology are linked by their respective catalog numbers.

A. Solutions and Reagents

NOTE: Prepare solutions with Milli-Q or equivalently purified water.

  1. 1X Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS).
  2. 1X SDS Sample Buffer: (#7722, #7723) 62.5 mM Tris-HCl (pH 6.8 at 25°C), 2% w/v SDS, 10% glycerol, 50 mM DTT, 0.01% w/v bromophenol blue or phenol red.
  3. Transfer Buffer: 25 mM Tris base, 0.2 M glycine, 20% methanol (pH 8.5).
  4. 10X Tris Buffered Saline (TBS): (#9997) To prepare 1 liter of 10X TBS: 24.2 g Tris base, 80 g NaCl; adjust pH to 7.6 with HCl (use at 1X).
  5. Nonfat Dry Milk: (#9999) (weight to volume [w/v]).
  6. Blocking Buffer: 1X TBS, 0.1% Tween-20 with 5% w/v nonfat dry milk; for 150 ml, add 15 ml 10X TBS to 135 ml water, mix. Add 7.5 g nonfat dry milk and mix well. While stirring, add 0.15 ml Tween-20 (100%).
  7. Wash Buffer: 1X TBS, 0.1% Tween-20 (TBS/T).
  8. Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA): (#9998).
  9. Primary Antibody Dilution Buffer: 1X TBS, 0.1% Tween-20 with 5% BSA; for 20 ml, add 2 ml 10X TBS to 18 ml water, mix. Add 1.0 g BSA and mix well. While stirring, add 20 μl Tween-20 (100%).
  10. Phototope®-HRP Western Blot Detection System: (#7071 anti-rabbit) or (#7072 anti-mouse) Includes biotinylated protein ladder, secondary (#7074 anti-rabbit) or (#7076 anti-mouse) antibody conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (HRP), anti-biotin antibody conjugated to HRP, LumiGLO chemiluminescent reagent and peroxide.
  11. Prestained Protein Marker, Broad Range (Premixed Format): (#7720).
  12. Biotinylated Protein Ladder Detection Pack: (#7727).
  13. Blotting Membrane: This protocol has been optimized for nitrocellulose membranes, which CST recommends. PVDF membranes may also be used.

B. Protein Blotting

A general protocol for sample preparation is described below.

  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 per plate of 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 seconds for complete cell lysis and to shear DNA (to reduce sample viscosity).
  5. Heat a 20 μl sample to 95–100°C for 5 minutes; cool on ice.
  6. Microcentrifuge for 5 minutes.
  7. Load 20 μl onto SDS-PAGE gel (10 cm x 10 cm). NOTE: CST recommends loading prestained molecular weight markers (#7720, 10 μl/lane) to verify electrotransfer and biotinylated protein ladder (#7727, 10 μl/lane) to determine molecular weights.
  8. Electrotransfer to nitrocellulose or PVDF membrane.

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.

  1. (Optional) After transfer, wash nitrocellulose membrane with 25 ml TBS for 5 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Incubate membrane in 25 ml of blocking buffer for 1 hour at room temperature.
  3. Wash three times for 5 minutes each with 15 ml of TBS/T.
  4. Incubate membrane and primary antibody (at the appropriate dilution) in 10 ml primary antibody dilution buffer with gentle agitation overnight at 4°C.
  5. Wash three times for 5 minutes each with 15 ml of TBS/T.

I. For Unconjugated Primary Antibodies

  1. Incubate membrane with appropriate HRP-conjugated secondary antibody (1:2000) and HRP-conjugated anti-biotin antibody (1:1000) to detect biotinylated protein markers in 10 ml of blocking buffer with gentle agitation for 1 hour at room temperature.
  2. Wash three times for 5 minutes each with 15 ml of TBS/T.

II. For HRP Conjugated Primary Antibodies

Skip to Detection of Proteins (Step D).

III. For Biotinylated Primary Antibodies

  1. Incubate membrane with HRP-Streptavidin (at the appropriate dilution) in milk for one hour with gentle agitation at room temperature.
  2. Wash three times for 5 minutes each with 15 ml of TBS/T.

D. Detection of Proteins

  1. Incubate membrane with 10 ml LumiGLO (0.5 ml 20X LumiGLO, 0.5 ml 20X Peroxide and 9.0 ml Milli-Q water) with gentle agitation for 1 minute at room temperature. NOTE: LumiGLO substrate can be further diluted if signal response is too fast.
  2. Drain membrane of excess developing solution (do not let dry), wrap in plastic wrap and expose to x-ray film. An initial 10-second exposure should indicate the proper exposure time. NOTE: Due to the kinetics of the detection reaction, signal is most intense immediately following LumiGLO incubation and declines over the following 2 hours.

posted June 2005

revised October 2008