Pre-embedding double-label immunoelectron microscopy of chemically fixed tissue culture cells


Localization of specific proteins within cells at the nanometer level of resolution is central to understanding how these proteins function in cell processes such as motility and intracellular trafficking. Such localization can be achieved by combining transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with immunogold labeling. Here we describe a pre-embedding, indirect gold immunolabeling approach to localize two different proteins of interest with secondary antibodies labeled with gold particles of different sizes in cells grown on cover slips. In this protocol, the cells are immunolabeled prior to being embedded in an epoxy resin for ultrathin sectioning. The protocol also includes strategies for optimizing the balance between ultrastructure and antigen preservation, steps to minimize nonspecific antibody binding, and steps to optimize antibody penetration.

Publication Title

Methods in Molecular Biology