Beta Actin: More than Just a Loading Control

Mon, 12/16/2013 - 14:23

Beta Actin is one isoform of a multifamily of highly conserved proteins that regulate cell motility, structure, and integrity. The ubiquitous expression of beta-actin in all eukaryotic cells makes it both a historical and heavily-used internal quantitative control for protein comparative assays, as can be seen in the scientific literature and publication records. For example, beta actin antibody was employed in an ex vivo familial genome-wide genetics study identifying genomic regions of importance for chemotherapy cytotoxicity (1). In the immunology arena, beta actin antibody allowed the investigation of the effects of long-term administration of the DNA synthesis inhibitor imatinib mesylate on proliferation and delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) in primary human T-cells (2). Yang’s group examined atherosclerotic plaques in ApoE knockout mice with the beta actin antibody to better understand plaque pathogenesis and rupture (3).  Use of the beta actin antibody in enzymatic activity assays following the abundant RPE65 protein in retinal pigment epithelium has provided new information to bridge a missing knowledge gap for inherited retinal dystrophies (4).

Immunocytochemistry/Immunofluorescence: Beta Actin Antibody Immunocytochemistry/Immunofluorescence: Beta Actin Antibody

Antibodies to beta-actin itself also allow scientists to study and understand the cytoskeleton and structural components within the cell required for basic movement and cell functions. Gimona, et al. generated a beta actin antibody to demonstrate actin filaments and peripheral lamellipodia in elegant experiments (5). More detailed studies used beta actin antibody in high resolution dual-label immunocytochemistry in smooth muscle cells to localize the thin filament-binding protein calponin to both the contractile apparatus and cytoskeleton, where it was found to be complexed to different subsets of structural and motor elements (6).

  1. PMID: 15282376
  2. PMID: 15100154
  3. PMID: 16116091
  4. PMID: 17360920
  5. PMID: 8162619
  6. PMID: 8006064

Novus Biologicals offers beta actin reagents for your research needs including:

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