The availability of quality antibodies is essential for all researchers in cell biology or molecular biology. However, antibodies are expensive reagents and it is essential to know which antibody will produce the best results in your particular experimental system. In particular, when researchers study families of signaling proteins, for example – the Akt family, caspase family or Bcl-2 family of proteins, purchasing an antibody for each of the many related proteins becomes exorbitantly expensive. Antibody Sampler Kits from Cell Signaling Inc. provide a fast and economical means of evaluating the status of many related proteins of a signaling family by Western blotting. Each kit contains enough primary and secondary antibodies to perform four mini-Western blot experiments per antibody.
Our laboratory was studying the effects of nicotine on the levels of the Bcl-2 family of proteins in A549 cells. We also wanted to analyze whether nicotine could activate the Akt pathway in A549 cells. Quiescent A549 cells were treated with 1 M nicotine for varying amounts of time and then cell lysates were prepared. The cell lysates were probed for activation of the Akt pathway using the “Phospho-Akt Pathway Sampler Kit”. This kit contains seven antibodies and a secondary antibody. The kit is very reasonably priced. The antibodies are specific and selective. Once the primary antibodies are diluted they can be stored at 4ºC and re-used 4-5 times, so the kit actually lasts far more than 4 mini-blots (as claimed by Cell Signaling Technology). The kit is also compatible with secondary antibodies from other companies. The antibodies can be used for various applications, including immunohistochemistry, immunoprecipitation, etc. The best part was that Cell Signaling also provided the PI-3 kinase inhibitor, LY294002, as part of the sampler kit, which we were able to use in many subsequent experiments and was a vital reagent in validating the results of the Western blots.
The sampler kits are all excellently designed to provide enough reagent to generate a complete picture of the activation status of a particular signaling pathway. We also used the “Pro-apoptosis Bcl-2 family “ antibody sampler kit from Cell Signaling. However, this kit contained antibodies to all Bcl-2 family members, but not to Bcl-2 itself; this antibody is actually part of another sampler kit. Hence, the exact combination of antibodies is sometimes hard to find as a sampler kit. However, most of the sampler kits provide a comprehensive package of all the required antibodies. The kit comes with a detailed manual explaining the specifications of all the antibodies and protocols for Western blotting, etc. The technical support from the company is excellent.
In summary, the antibody sampler kits are an excellent reagent for all laboratories involved in signal transduction research. Sometimes, the exact combination of antibodies required for the experiments is hard to find, but for the majority of the pathways, the sampler kit provides antibodies to all of the related proteins. It is an economical way to check the up/downregulation of a pathway in response to any stimuli. I would recommend it as a valuable tool for all laboratories in the field of cell biology.
Antibody Sampler Kits From Cell Signaling Inc.
Antibody Sampler Kits are great assets for Western blotting.
Sometimes the exact combination of antibodies you are looking for may not be available.
The Bottom Line
The kit is very economical and a great resource for any lab in cell biology.