Antibody News

Apoptosis and Necroptosis Part I: Important factors to identify both types of programmed cell death

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 11:22

Different types of cell death have classically been identified by discrete morphological changes. The hallmarks of apoptosis include cell shrinkage, nuclear fragmentation and membrane blebbing whereas necroptosis is characterized by cell swelling and plasma membrane breakdown. While these two forms of cell death are clearly distinct, substantial crosstalk occurs between them.  Accordingly, it is becoming increasingly important to understand how these processes differ and to understand ways to differentiate them in cellular populations. 

Apoptosis is a genetically programmed mechanism of cell death that is activated in response to cell stress, infection or developmental cues.   Apoptosis is split into two main pathways, the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways, and can be triggered by granzymes from natural killer (NK) cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes.  The intrinsic pathway is regulated by the ...

Rules for Selection of Fluorochromes in Multicolor ICC/IF

Monday, May 22, 2017 - 10:24

Immunocytochemistry/immunofluorescence (ICC/IF) involves visualization of antigens in cultured or smeared cells with the use of fluorochrome-labeled antibodies. Various combinations of fluorochrome-labeled antibodies make it possible to simultaneously detect multiple antigens in the same sample. However, every experiment involving multiplex or multicolor ICC/IF requires selection of an optimal set of fluorochromes. Poor selection of fluorochrome combinations can make it difficult to distinguish individual antigens, especially when the targets under consideration are co-localized at the sub-cellular level. Here we have outlined key rules for selecting fluorochromes to minimize potential errors and to simplify the selection process.

1. Check for fluorochrome(s) compatibility with your microscope’s filter sets

Use spectra viewers and fluorochrome reference charts to determine the maximum excitation (Ex) and emission (Em) wavelengths...

Article Review: Effects of the administration of high-dose interleukin-2 on immunoregulatory cell subsets in patients with advanced melanoma and renal cell cancer

Friday, May 19, 2017 - 10:38

The immune system is composed of a portion of T cells that express an invariant T cell receptor (TCR) alpha chain known as V alpha 24 J alpha 18. These highly conserved populations are referred to as iNKT populations and have the ability to rapidly produce cytokines following activation, making them hot targets for therapeutic research initiatives. In this article, we will review van derVilet et al’s study of the effects of administering high dose interleukin-2 to immunoregulatory cell subsets in patients presenting advanced melanoma and renal cell cancer.  This group uses antibodies in a variety of applications to determine whether these cells can rescue skin and kidney malignancies.  In this paper, dendritic cell subsets (DC), CD1d-reactive invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT) and CD4+CD25+ regulatory-type T cells are exposed to high-dose IL-2 therapy. 


Article Review: Dual effects of carbon monoxide on pericytes and neurogenesis in traumatic brain injury

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 08:58

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) currently contributes to nearly 30% of all injury deaths in the United States.  Characterized by an abrasive head injury that interrupts normal brain function, TBI can range from mild to severe.  Mild symptoms can present themselves as excessive tiredness, difficulty concentrating and lack of clear thinking.  Severe cases of TBI are hallmarked by unusual behavior, seizures and loss of consciousness.  Research has shown that on a molecular level TBI triggers various mechanisms of cell death alongside attempted tissue recovery, therefore Choi et al sought out to test the treatment of carbon monoxide on rescuing the effects of TBI.  Their article titled “Dual effects of carbon monoxide on pericytes and neurogenesis in traumatic brain injury” tests the effects of CO-releasing molecular 3 (CORM-3) and N-tert-butyl-a-phenylnitrone (PBN) on a mouse model of controlled cortical impact TBI.


Recent advances in CRISPR-Cas9

Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 09:49

The CRISPR-Cas9 genome-engineering tool is a powerful opportunity for researchers to study individual gene function. CRISPR-Cas9, abbreviated for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is a bacterial defense system that can be reprogrammed to target specific areas of DNA followed by precise editing.  Essentially, CRISPR sequences are transcribed into short RNA sequences that will match the desired DNA sequence of interest. From here, the DNA is bound and cut, turning off its function.  While this recent discovery opened up doors for gene-targeted therapies, the mechanisms in which DNA cutting was achieved are somewhat debated. Simply put, when DNA is damaged, it sets out to repair itself, resulting in randomized nucleic acid insertions that are not needed. 


Pathway Highlight: Three key factors that contribute to cellular heterogeneity in apoptosis

Monday, May 1, 2017 - 08:54

Have you ever wondered why cells in the same population respond differently to an apoptotic stimulus? Apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death, is vital for the removal of unwanted or damaged cells. As with most cellular processes, too much or too little activation can be detrimental and lead to various diseases including autoimmune disorders and cancer. While this process is tightly regulated, cells undergo apoptosis in a non-synchronized manner, which complicates the analysis of apoptotic events.  Here are 3 keys factors that determine how an individual cell will respond to an apoptotic stimulus.

caspase-3 antibody

Processed caspase 3 was detected in immersion fixed anti-FAS treated Jurkat human acute T cell leukemia cell line using Human/Mouse Active Caspase 3 Polyclonal Antibody (...

Why do counterstaining in ICC/IF and how?

Friday, April 28, 2017 - 10:26

Why: To identify a specific organelle or another cellular structure and to mark individual cells, it is necessary to counterstain them in immunocytochemistry/immunofluorescence (ICC/IF) assays.

How: Counterstaining is often performed with dyes or antibodies specific to the organelle or cellular structure of interest. For example, the nuclear counterstaining is carried out by using DNA helix intercalating dyes such as DAPI and Hoechst which can penetrate the cells and nuclei without permeabilization. Similarly, fluorescently-labeled phalloidin is used for counterstaining the cytoskeletal actin filaments and fluorescently-tagged wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) is employed for counterstaining the plasma membranes.

Important Considerations: When choosing counterstaining options in...

The role of MHC Class II RT1B and immune response post brain injury

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 09:39

The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is responsible for binding peptide fragments arising from pathogens in order to display them on the cell surface for recognition from immune cells.  Once recognized, the foreign pathogen is typically evaded. The MHC complex is broken into two categories, MHC Class I proteins and MHC Class II proteins.  MHC complex I and II proteins are all very different and contain specific molecules to bind different peptides – in fact, they have been described as the most polymorphic genes there are. The MHC Class II RT1B antibody can be used to bind the monomorphic determinant of the rat I-A antigen, which is found on B-lymphocytes, dendritic cells and some macrophages. Often times, a neuroinflammatory response develops after brain injury and remains for weeks post injury.  Using a MHC Class II RT1B antibody is a useful way to understand...

Novus Marches for Science!

Friday, April 21, 2017 - 10:15

Novus employees will be participating in the March for Science alongside a global network of scientists to support the education and public importance of this topic for all.

We believe in the integrity of science and all that it holds for the future. Everyone is affected by it, and we believe in sharing this information with the public, outside of labs and journals.

Join us on April 22, 2017 at the March in D.C. or at your local satellite event. #BioTechneMarches

We will be marching in our Bio-Techne communities:

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
  • Denver, CO
  • San Jose, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Boston, MA
  • Bistol, UK

And more!

Follow our employees on social media with #BioTechneMarches throughout the weekend for scenes from around the world.

The role of c-Fos in the regulation of the JC virus gene transcription

Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 11:10

c-Fos is a member of the AP-1 transcription factor family under the Fos protein family umbrella, alongside Fra-1, Fra-2 and Fos-B.  Also in the AP-1 transcription family are the Jun proteins, c-Jun, Jun-B and Jun-D.  Each member of the AP-1 transcription family is a phosphonuclear protein composed of a carboxy-terminal leucine zipper domain, a basic domain and an amino terminal transactivation domain. Together the Fos and Jun families compose a dimeric complex that binds to response elements on DNA in order to regulate gene expression, cell proliferation, cell differentiation, tumorigenesis and more.  Their induction can be catalyzed by a number of signals, including cytokines and growth factors, stress and viral infection. ...

The advantages and applications of using tissue microarrays

Monday, April 17, 2017 - 15:04

A tissue microarray is a fairly recent high-throughput application that allows researchers to test hundreds of tissue samples with antibodies of their choice at once.  Essentially, a tissue microarray is a paraffin block that is produced by a composition of tissue cores from paraffin donor blocks within defined coordinates to account for a variety of tissue types. Due to the success of the traditional IHC experimental method in advancing clinical research and drug discovery, the introduction of high-throughput IHC is pivotal to understanding the transformation of tissues from healthy to malignant.  This article will go deeper into the pros and cons of tissue microarray, as well as introduce tissue array sets available at Novus Biologicals and real world applications. 

tissue comparsion slide


An overview of permeabilization in immunocytochemistry (ICC)

Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 09:12

Immunocytochemistry (ICC) can be a very effective method for visualizing the localization and behavior of intracellular proteins, however the protocol for each ICC experiment should be optimized specifically to the cell being examined.  Permeabilization, or the puncturing of the cell membrane, is an extremely important step in detecting intracellular antigens with a primary antibody because it allows entry through the cell membrane. Permeabilization is introduced after cells have been prepared with a fixative agent to initiate protein cross-linking, such as formaldehyde or ethanol. However, determining the amount of exposure to a permeabilization agent is crucial, seeing as a hard tissue organ may require a longer incubation over a soft tissue organ and treating your sample incorrectly will lead to unreliable results. 


Pathway Highlight: Which caspase substrates contribute to the morphological features associated with apoptosis?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 09:20

Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is controlled by a caspase signal cascade that activates downstream signals to induce the morphological changes used to differentiate apoptosis from other forms of cell death.  Novus Biologicals offers a variety of antibodies and tools to detect the different morphological indicators of cell death. 

Nuclear Fragmentation

Nuclear condensation starts at the nuclear membrane, hallmarked by the formation of a ring-like structure.  Further into apoptosis, the nucleus full fragments in a process known as “karyorrhexis”.  Primary antibody markers that bind and recognize DNA such as ICAD (inhibitor of caspase-activated DNAase) and Lamin B can be used to visualize nuclei.  Furthermore, TUNEL, or terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP in situ nick end labeling, is a popular method of apoptotic cell...

Key Targets in Apoptosis, Necroptosis, and Autophagy

Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 14:16

Cell death/recycling pathways such as apoptosis, necroptosis, and autophagy are an integral part of the growth, development, homeostasis as well as the pathophysiology in the life of living organisms. These signaling pathways are highly regulated and some of their key regulatory targets are discussed below.


Apoptosis, programmed cell death, is primarily characterized by the activation of caspases which further regulate the mass cleavage of proteins and DNA. Some of major the proteins responsible for various apoptotic events are:

Initiator Caspases
(-2, -8, -9, -10)

In apoptosis, initiator caspases are involved in the upstream events of death receptor (extrinsic)- or mitochondrion-dependent (intrinsic) signaling pathways. They...

Why you should use a Rabbit Monoclonal Antibody

Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 11:50

Primary antibodies are becoming increasingly popular investigate tool to use in research, given the breadth and selection of product on the market. Not only are antibodies raised in a variety of hosts, they also have proven reactivity with a wide range of species applying to many research fields and models. From here one can select a desired clonality, choosing polyclonal or monoclonal depending on the target of interest.  With monoclonal antibodies, it can be taken one step further to hone in on a specific clone of interest. With all of the different options available, it can be difficult to choose your ideal antibody.  Choosing the correct make up of an antibody will no doubt have an effect on your experimental outcomes,...

Potential therapies for human ovarian cancer surrounding the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 09:47

Mammalian target of Rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine kinase that regulates cell growth, proliferation, motility and survival. Acting downstream of AKT, also a serine kinase, mTOR is composed of the mTORC1-Raptor complex and the mTORC2-Rictor complex.  mTOR has been implicated in many cancers, including ovarian cancer, due to the effect of mTOR inhibitors on tumor progression.  In addition, mTORC2 has a positive feedback effect on AKT behavior, which may explain its rapamycin resistance.  Rapamycin is a common drug used as a targeted therapy for mTOR inhibition, however it is not successful in all cancer types. In Ovarian Cancer specifically, the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is the most frequently altered pathway, with PI3K, AKT and mTOR expression levels correlating with survival and tumor growth.  In the following articles, an mTOR antibody is used to investigate the efficacy of two...

What are the major differences between Apoptosis, Necroptosis & Autophagy?

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 13:41

Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death which is mediated by cysteine proteases called caspases. It is an essential phenomenon in the maintenance of homeostasis and growth of tissues, and it also plays a critical role in immune response. The cytomorphological alterations and the key features of apoptosis are listed below:




Active, physiological or pathophysiological

Induction stimuli

Oxidative stress, death receptor ligands, chemotherapy

Ultrasensitive IHC Detection with HRP-Polymer Conjugates

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 14:54

Signal amplification methods are widely used in immunohistochemistry (IHC) for detection of rare epitopes and low abundance antigens. While many of these techniques such as the avidin-biotin complex (ABC) method improve staining, they frequently require additional steps and result in higher background staining.  Blocking endogenous biotin, a requirement of using ABC reagents, may not sufficiently remove residual activity in frozen tissue sections and tissues high in biotin including the liver and kidney.

FABP1/L-FABP antibody

Figure 1. FABP1/L-FABP was detected in paraffin-embedded sections of human kidney using Mouse Anti-Human FABP1/L-FABP Monoclonal Antibody (Catalog # MAB2964) at 1 μg/mL for 1 hour at room temperature followed by incubation for 30 minutes at room temperature with Anti-Mouse/Rabbit IgG VisUCyte HRP Polymer Antibody (Catalog...

The use of apoptosis antibodies and controls in cell death research

Monday, March 20, 2017 - 15:06

Apoptosis is a method of programmed cell death that is notably characterized by a morphological change in cellular nuclei and membrane appearance.  Not to be confused with necrosis, apoptosis is a pathway that is induced by a variety of factors that activate cysteine proteases known as caspases to lead the cell to its ultimate death versus natural death of a cell. While excessive apoptosis can be detrimental, it can also be part of our immune response or in protection of cells that have been damaged by disease or toxic stimuli.  Using antibodies against apoptotic pathway proteins is an effective way to investigate the role of apoptosis in a number of experimental models.  However, it is important to use antibodies against well-defined key apoptotic players and to integrate controls when possible. 


Frontiers in immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis

Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 09:06

There are a variety of experimental methods to choose from when using antibodies as a probe to highlight a target of interest. Western blot will reveal protein abundance and behavior, immunocytochemistry allows a look at protein behavior on the cellular level, and flow cytometry has the ability to label and sort hundreds of thousands of cells in no time. However, immunohistochemistry (IHC) is the only method where researchers have the ability to view the spatial localization of a target within a specific tissue. A lot has changed with IHC since its introduction in the mid 1900s, including automated processing machines, multiplexing techniques, advanced image analysis, robustly

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 09:24

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is quite common in the U.S., covering more than 4% of all cancers each year, and is most susceptible to individuals between 50 and 60 years of age.  Squamous cells are a type of epithelial cell that are located all over the body with concentrations in the mouth, throat, neck and cervix.  EGFR, or epidermal growth factor receptor, is a trans-membrane glycoprotein that oversees cellular proliferation through its intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity.  When EGFR is bound to its ligand, it is phosphorylated by inner tyrosine kinase activity, where downstream pathways are activated and tumors caused by over stimulated cellular proliferation may occur.  Because of EGFR’s role in regulating multiple signaling cascades, and for the potential treatment therapies targeted at kinase inhibitor activity, EGFR is of high interest in understanding head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.  The following articles used an...

Topics in CD11b: The innate immune response

Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 11:58

Integrins are transmembrane receptors composed of alpha and beta chains, where beta-integrins are mainly expressed in leukocytes. Leukocytes are white blood cells that act in the immune system to defend our body against foreign pathogens.  Integrins are known to interact with extracellular matrix molecules to initiate our inflammatory immune response, in addition to regulating cell adhesion, migration and proliferation.  Our innate immune response is composed of a number of cell types that work in a coordinated effort to identify and attack foreign particles through antigen production.  CD11b is expressed in macrophages, monocytes, dendritic cells and granulocytes – the main players of our immune response cell network.  While CD11b’s exact role in immunity is still debated, it has been established that CD11b both negative and positively regulates our immune response, often times via a TLR ligand.  The following research articles use a...

The role of Parkin and autophagy in retinal pigment epithelial cell (RPE) degradation

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 13:49

The root of Parkinson’s disease (PD) points to a poorly regulated electron transport chain leading to mitochondrial damage, where many proteins need to work cohesively to ensure proper function.  The two key players of this pathway are PINK1, also known as PTEN or PARK6, and Parkin, also known as PARK2 - where PINK1 acts as an upstream effector of Parkin to regulate mitochondrial dynamics.  Mitochondria must maintain a healthy equilibrium and do so by undergoing a series of fission and fusion events.  The proteins Drp-1 and OPA-1, respectively, govern these events. While PINK1 and Parkin are directly involved in the progression of PD, their role in maintaining mitochondrial health has associated them with autophagy and mitophagy events in other models such as the loss of retinal pigment epithelial cell (RPE)...

Article Review: Ly6E/K Signaling to TGF-beta Promotes Breast Cancer Progression, Immune Escape, and Drug Resistance

Friday, March 3, 2017 - 14:52

Today in breast cancer research, scientists are focused on determining the cause, risk, diagnostic testing options and treatment of this devastating disease.  Of particular interest is identification of potential therapeutic targets that are known to contribute to the progression of breast cancer in order to develop treatments against these specific genes or proteins.  This article review summarizes research completed by AlHossiny et al regarding the role of Ly6E/K signaling and TGF-beta is the progression of cancer, immune escape and subsequent drug resistance.  Initial work by this group shed light on the role of mouse Ly6A in the regulation of TGF-beta, PTEN and the ERK/AKT signaling pathways to develop resistance to radiation and promote metastatic behavior of mammary tumors.  Furthermore, heightened levels...

The use of the autophagy marker LC3 in western blot, immunocytochemistry and flow cytometry research applications as an indicator of autophagy

Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 08:44

The process of autophagy, or lysosome-mediated degradation of damaged proteins and organelles in the cytosol, is a vital cellular process that acts as a quality control mechanism for proteins and organelles. The misregulation of autophagy can lead to an imbalance of cellular homeostasis and the subsequent development of disease.  Therefore, the study of autophagy is at the forefront of neuroscience and cancer research, among others.  In order to measure autophagic flux, many assays use the autophagy marker protein LC3.  LC3, the mammalian homolog of yeast ATG8, is a ubiquitin like protein that is associated with the autophagosome during the autophagic process. More directly related to LC3 is the process of selective autophagy, where receptors such as p62, NBR1 and NDP52 possess an LC3-interacting region (LIR) to directly bind LC3. Using a


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