European journal of cell biology

A simple procedure to produce monospecific polyclonal antibodies of high affinity against actin from muscular sources.

PMID 2482181


A simple and effective technique to produce monospecific polyclonal antibodies of high affinity against actin is described. In this procedure, rabbit skeletal muscle actin in the 1:1 complex with bovine pancreatic deoxyribonuclease I is used as antigen to immunize rabbits. The antisera obtained are shown to contain antibodies against both actin and deoxyribonuclease I. By affinity chromatography the two antibody preparations were separated and characterized. The affinity-purified anti-deoxyribonuclease I and anti-actin do not show cross-reactivity. Thus, anti-deoxyribonuclease I inhibits the enzymic activity of deoxyribonuclease I and stains the enzyme after Western blotting. Affinity-purified anti-actin does not inhibit deoxyribonuclease I activity and stains only actin after Western blotting. The affinity-purified anti-actin can be used in a number of different actin-detecting techniques such as in immunohistochemistry and in immunoblotting techniques. This antibody recognizes only actins from muscular tissues with high affinity. Immunoblots of polyacrylamide gels in the presence of ampholytes (IEF) indicate that this antibody only recognizes the alpha-variants of actin. Thus, the skeletal and cardiac alpha-actins are recognized but not the smooth muscle gamma-isoform and the cytoplasmic actins. Vascular smooth muscle alpha-actin is not recognized when using immunoblotting or enzyme-linked immunosorbent techniques. On frozen sections, however, the anti-actin antibody clearly stained vascular smooth muscle cells. Epitope analysis using actin fragments generated by limited proteolysis and selective cleavage using hydroxylamine indicate that this antibody is directed against a rather limited region within the N-terminus of actin.