Western blots can be detected with fluorescent, chemiluminescent, or colorimetric methods. What method do you use?
Fluorescent detection: Fluorescent detection uses secondary antibodies labeled with fluorescent dyes, rather than enzymes. No substrates are needed.
Enzymatic detection: Chemiluminescent and colorimetric methods use secondary antibodies labeled with enzyme reporters such as horseradish peroxidase (HRP). Signal-generating substrates are used.
Fluorescent detection uses NIR fluorescent dyes to generate a signal.
• Secondary antibodies are labeled with dyes such as IRDye 800CW or IRDye 680RD
• Digital imaging reveals target protein signals with high sensitivity
• Quantitative (signal is proportional to the amount of target protein present)
• Stable fluorescent signals are stable
• Multiplex detection of multiple protein targets without stripping and re-probing
Chemiluminescent detection uses the horseradish peroxidase (HRP) enzyme and a luminescent substrate.
• Enzymatic reaction produces light that is detected by film exposure, or digital imaging with CCD camera
• Multiple exposures typically required to capture optimal signals and avoid signal saturation
• Very sensitive
• Cannot be multiplexed
• May not be quantitative
Colorimetric detection uses the alkaline phosphatase enzyme.
• Enzyme converts a soluble chromogenic substrate to a colored, insoluble product that precipitates onto the membrane and produces colored bands
• Development of the blot is stopped by washing away the soluble substrate
• Simple and cost-effective
• Limited sensitivity
|Linear Dynamic Range||10-50 fold||>4000 fold|
|Signal Stability||Hours||Months – Years|
|Detection/Documentation||Film Exposure/Digital Imaging||Digital Imaging|
|Membrane Compatibility||Nitrocellulose or PVDF||Nitrocellulose or PVDF|