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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 HeLa cells using Ubiquityl-Histone H2B (Lys120) (D11) XP® Rabbit mAb (PE Conjugate) (blue) compared to concentration-matched Rabbit (DA1E) mAb IgG XP® Isotype Control (PE Conjugate) #5742 (red).

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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

Ubiquityl-Histone H2B (Lys120) (D11) XP® Rabbit mAb (PE Conjugate) detects endogenous levels of histone H2B protein only when ubiquitylated on Lys120. The antibody does not cross-react with other ubiquitylated proteins or free ubiquitin.


Species Reactivity: Human, Mouse, Rat, Monkey

Source / Purification

Monoclonal antibody is produced by immunizing animals with a synthetic peptide corresponding to the carboxy terminus of the human histone H2B protein in which Lys120 is mono-ubiquitylated.

Product Description

This Cell Signaling Technology antibody is conjugated to phycoerythrin (PE) and tested in-house for direct flow cytometry analysis in human cells. This antibody is expected to exhibit the same species cross-reactivity as the unconjugated Ubiquityl-Histone H2B (Lys120) (D11) XP® Rabbit mAb #5546.


The nucleosome, made up of four core histone proteins (H2A, H2B, H3 and H4), is the primary building block of chromatin. Originally thought to function as a static scaffold for DNA packaging, histones have now been shown to be dynamic proteins, undergoing multiple types of post-translational modifications, including acetylation, phosphorylation, methylation, and ubiquitylation (1). Ubiquitin is a conserved 76 amino acid peptide unit that can be covalently linked to many cellular proteins by the ubiquitylation process. Three components are involved in this protein-ubiquitin conjugation process. Ubiquitin is first activated by forming a thiolester complex with the activation component E1; the activated ubiquitin is subsequently transferred to the ubiquitin-carrier protein E2, then from E2 to ubiquitin ligase E3 for final delivery to the epsilon-NH2 of the target protein lysine residue (2). Histone H2B is mono-ubiquitylated on lysine 120 during transcriptional activation by the RAD6 E2 protein in conjunction with the BRE1A/BRE1B E3 ligase (also known as RNF20/RNF40) (3). The RAD6/BRE1 complex is recruited to gene promoters during activation by the PAF complex, an RNA polymerase II-associated protein complex that regulates transcriptional elongation (3-5). Mono-ubiquitylated histone H2B lysine 120 is associated with the transcribed region of active genes (3,6). Mono-ubiquitylation of histone H2B stimulates transcriptional elongation by facilitating FACT-dependent chromatin remodeling (7,8). In addition, it is essential for subsequent methylation of histone H3 lysines 4 and 79, two additional histone modifications that regulate transcriptional initiation and elongation (9). Interestingly, de-ubiquitylation of histone H2B lysine 120 by USP22, a subunit of the human SAGA histone acetyltransferase complex, is a required step in transcriptional activation (10). Thus, it appears that the ubiquitylation state of histone H2B is dynamic during transcription and may serve as an intermediate step in transcriptional activation.


1.  Peterson, C.L. and Laniel, M.A. (2004) Curr Biol 14, R546-51.

2.  Liu, F. and Walters, K.J. (2010) Trends Biochem Sci 35, 352-60.

3.  Kim, J. et al. (2009) Cell 137, 459-71.

4.  Wood, A. et al. (2003) J Biol Chem 278, 34739-42.

5.  Xiao, T. et al. (2005) Mol Cell Biol 25, 637-51.

6.  Minsky, N. et al. (2008) Nat Cell Biol 10, 483-8.

7.  Pavri, R. et al. (2006) Cell 125, 703-17.

8.  Fleming, A.B. et al. (2008) Mol Cell 31, 57-66.

9.  Shilatifard, A. (2006) Annu Rev Biochem 75, 243-69.

10.  Wyce, A. et al. (2004) Novartis Found Symp 259, 63-73; discussion 73-7, 163-9.


Entrez-Gene Id 3018
Swiss-Prot Acc. P33778


For Research Use Only. Not For Use In Diagnostic Procedures.
Cell Signaling Technology is a trademark of Cell Signaling Technology, Inc.
XP is a registered trademark of Cell Signaling Technology, Inc.

86653
Ubiquityl-Histone H2B (Lys120) (D11) XP® Rabbit mAb (PE Conjugate)