Labeling Actin with Phalloidin vs. Antibodies: Smaller Size for Greater Density

Fluorescent-labeled phalloidin is enormously useful in localizing actin filaments in living or fixed cells as well as for visualizing individual actin filaments in vitro. In comparison to antibodies, phalloidin-dye conjugates are smaller, so labeling does not impede functional properties of the filaments. Additionally, this small size permits much denser labeling of F-actin which allows for the capture of more detailed images at higher resolutions.

Although a wide range of options are available, for multicolor imaging applications green color conjugates are the most popular. Fluorescein is a classic choice, with Alexa Fluor® 488 and the newest high performing Phalloidin-iFluor™ 488 conjugates providing brighter signal with greater photostability.

Cell Types & Phalloidin Staining:
A) CPA cell labeled with F-actin stain Phalloidin iFluor™ 488, and co-stained with lysosomal dye LysoBrite™ Red and nuclei stain Nuclear Blue™ DCS1. B) HeLa cells labeled with F-actin stain Phalloidin-iFluor™ 350 and co-stained with nuclei stain Nuclear Red™ DCS1. C) HeLa cells labeled with F-actin stain Phalloidin-iFluor™ 555, and co-stained with mitochondria stain MitoLite™ Green FM, nuclei stain Nuclear Blue™ DCS1, and plasma membrane stain Cellpaint™ Deep Red.

Do you need assistance in selecting the fluorescent conjugate most suited for labeling actin for your particular experiment?

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