A dilution immunoassay to measure myosin regulatory light chain phosphorylation

Anal Biochem. 2000 Sep 10;284(2):173-82. doi: 10.1006/abio.2000.4704.


We examined the quantitation of myosin regulatory light chain phosphorylation (MRLCP) by Western blot and found both offset and saturation errors. The desirable characteristics of an MRLCP assay are that the dynamic range be 60- to 100-fold and that the detection threshold be known and preferably very small relative to total MRLC concentration. No technique examined provided all these characteristics. However, accurate measurements can be obtained by including serial dilutions of the sample to provide a fractional calibration scale in terms of the dephosphorylated light chain and by using interpolation of the phosphorylated band signal intensity to provide values for the relative phosphorylation ratio. We found that this method offers several advantages over methods that rely on signal ratios from single samples: The dilution ratio method is less subject to errors from differences in protein load, it offers estimates of the error in the individual measurement, and has some redundancy that increases the likelihood of obtaining a valid measurement despite gel or membrane artifacts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Immunoassay / methods*
  • Male
  • Myosin Light Chains / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Myosin Light Chains