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

Flow cytometric analysis of Jurkat cells, untreated (green) or etoposide-treated (blue), using Phospho-Histone H2A.X (Ser139) (20E3) Rabbit mAb (Alexa Fluor® 488 Conjugate).

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Flow Cytometry, Methanol Permeabilization Protocol for Direct Conjugates

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

NOTE: If using whole blood, lyse red blood cells and wash by centrifugation prior to 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 15 min at room temperature.
  4. Wash by centrifugation with excess 1X PBS. Discard supernatant in appropriate waste container. Resuspend cells in 0.5-1 ml 1X PBS.

C. Permeabilization

  1. Permeabilize cells by adding ice-cold 100% methanol slowly to pre-chilled cells, while gently vortexing, to a final concentration of 90% methanol.
  2. Incubate 30 min on ice.
  3. Proceed with immunostaining (Section D) or store cells at -20°C in 90% methanol.

D. Immunostaining

  1. Aliquot desired number of cells into tubes or wells.
  2. Wash cells by centrifugation in excess 1X PBS to remove methanol. Discard supernatant in appropriate waste container. Repeat if necessary.
  3. Resuspend cells in 100 µl of diluted antibody conjugate (prepared in incubation buffer at the recommended dilution).
  4. Incubate for 1 hr at room temperature. Protect from light.
  5. Wash by centrifugation in incubation buffer. Discard supernatant. Repeat.
  6. Resuspend cells in 1X 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 5 min at room temperature.
  3. Analyze cells in DNA staining solution on flow cytometer.

posted July 2009

revised June 2017

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-Histone H2A.X (Ser139) (20E3) Rabbit mAb detects endogenous levels of H2A.X only when phosphorylated at serine 139.


Species Reactivity: Human, Mouse, Rat, Monkey

Source / Purification

Monoclonal antibody is produced by immunizing animals with a synthetic phosphopeptide corresponding to residues surrounding Ser139 of human H2A.X. The antibody was conjugated to Alexa Fluor® 488 under optimal conditions with an F/P ratio of 2-5.

Product Description

This Cell Signaling Technology antibody is conjugated to Alexa Fluor® 488 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-Histone H2A.X (Ser139) (20E3) Rabbit mAb #9718.


Histone H2A.X is a variant histone that represents approximately 10% of the total H2A histone proteins in normal human fibroblasts (1). H2A.X is required for checkpoint-mediated cell cycle arrest and DNA repair following double-stranded DNA breaks (1). DNA damage, caused by ionizing radiation, UV-light, or radiomimetic agents, results in rapid phosphorylation of H2A.X at Ser139 by PI3K-like kinases, including ATM, ATR, and DNA-PK (2,3). Within minutes following DNA damage, H2A.X is phosphorylated at Ser139 at sites of DNA damage (4). This very early event in the DNA-damage response is required for recruitment of a multitude of DNA-damage response proteins, including MDC1, NBS1, RAD50, MRE11, 53BP1, and BRCA1 (1). In addition to its role in DNA-damage repair, H2A.X is required for DNA fragmentation during apoptosis and is phosphorylated by various kinases in response to apoptotic signals. H2A.X is phosphorylated at Ser139 by DNA-PK in response to cell death receptor activation, c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK1) in response to UV-A irradiation, and p38 MAPK in response to serum starvation (5-8). H2A.X is constitutively phosphorylated on Tyr142 in undamaged cells by WSTF (Williams-Beuren syndrome transcription factor) (9,10). Upon DNA damage, and concurrent with phosphorylation of Ser139, Tyr142 is dephosphorylated at sites of DNA damage by recruited EYA1 and EYA3 phosphatases (9). While phosphorylation at Ser139 facilitates the recruitment of DNA repair proteins and apoptotic proteins to sites of DNA damage, phosphorylation at Tyr142 appears to determine which set of proteins are recruited. Phosphorylation of H2A.X at Tyr142 inhibits the recruitment of DNA repair proteins and promotes binding of pro-apoptotic factors such as JNK1 (9). Mouse embryonic fibroblasts expressing only mutant H2A.X Y142F, which favors recruitment of DNA repair proteins over apoptotic proteins, show a reduced apoptotic response to ionizing radiation (9). Thus, it appears that the balance of H2A.X Tyr142 phosphorylation and dephosphorylation provides a switch mechanism to determine cell fate after DNA damage.


1.  Yuan, J. et al. (2010) FEBS Lett 584, 3717-24.

2.  Rogakou, E.P. et al. (1998) J Biol Chem 273, 5858-68.

3.  Burma, S. et al. (2001) J Biol Chem 276, 42462-7.

4.  Rogakou, E.P. et al. (1999) J Cell Biol 146, 905-16.

5.  Mukherjee, B. et al. (2006) DNA Repair (Amst) 5, 575-90.

6.  Solier, S. et al. (2009) Mol Cell Biol 29, 68-82.

7.  Lu, C. et al. (2006) Mol Cell 23, 121-32.

8.  Lu, C. et al. (2008) FEBS Lett 582, 2703-8.

9.  Cook, P.J. et al. (2009) Nature 458, 591-6.

10.  Xiao, A. et al. (2009) Nature 457, 57-62.


Entrez-Gene Id 3014
Swiss-Prot Acc. P16104


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. 7,429,487, foreign equivalents, and child patents deriving therefrom.

9719
Phospho-Histone H2A.X (Ser139) (20E3) Rabbit mAb (Alexa Fluor® 488 Conjugate)