Are genuine changes in protein expression being overlooked? Reassessing Western blotting Academic Article uri icon


  • This study used purified calsequestrin 1 and AMP kinase (AMPK) proteins to demonstrate how Western blotting outcomes can be influenced when either the density of proteins detected lie within a nonproportional region of a standard curve or a standard curve is not taken into account for data analyses. It outlines the likelihood of true changes being overlooked through the simple mistake of using band density alone and/or through analyzing too much sample. To demonstrate this, extrapolation of a typical linear, although nonproportional, standard curve resulted in approximately fourfold error. The standard curve method was used to estimate the concentration of AMPK beta1 in rat extensor digitorum longus muscle as being of the order of 60 microM. The article suggests that adopting a more sensitive Western blotting protocol will improve the reliability of quantitative Western blotting outcomes.

publication date

  • March 2009