UNIT 5.19 Immunoblotting and Immunodetection

  1. Sean Gallagher1,
  2. Scott E. Winston (tank transfer systems)2,
  3. Steven A. Fuller (tank transfer systems)2,
  4. John G.R. Hurrell (tank transfer systems; reversible staining of proteins)3

Published Online: 1 NOV 2004

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0519s29

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Gallagher, S., Winston, S. E., Fuller, S. A. and Hurrell, J. G. 2004. Immunoblotting and Immunodetection. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 29:5.19:5.19.1–5.19.24.

Author Information

  1. 1

    UVP, Inc., Upland, California

  2. 2

    Nabi, Rockville, Maryland

  3. 3

    FluorRx, Carmel, Indiana

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2004
  2. Published Print: OCT 2004


Immunoblotting (western blotting) is used to identify specific antigens recognized by polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies. This unit provides numerous protocols for all steps starting with solubilization of the protein samples, usually with SDS and reducing agents. Following solubilization, the material is separated by SDS-PAGE and the antigens are then electrophoretically transferred to a membrane, a process that can be monitored by reversible staining or Ponceau S staining. The transferred proteins are bound to the surface of the membrane, providing access to immunodetection reagents. Any remaining binding sites are blocked by immersing the membrane in a blocking solution. After probing with the primary antibody, the membrane is washed and the antibody-antigen complexes are identified with horseradish peroxidase (HRPO) or alkaline phosphatase enzymes coupled to the secondary anti-IgG antibody (e.g., goat anti-rabbit IgG) and appropriate chromogenic or luminescent substrates. Finally, membranes may be stripped and reprobed.


  • immunoblot;
  • western blot;
  • horseradish peroxidase;
  • alkaline phosphatase;
  • antibodies