Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) gene encodes a member of the ATF family of transcription factors and is induced by various stress signals, including many of those that induce the unfolded protein response (UPR). Emerging evidence suggests that ATF3 is a hub of the cellular adaptive-response network and studies using various mouse models indicate that ATF3 plays a role in the pathogenesis of various diseases. One way to investigate the potential relevance of ATF3 to human diseases is to determine its expression in patient samples and test whether it correlates with disease progression or clinical outcomes. Due to the scarcity and preciousness of patient samples, methods that can detect ATF3 on archival tissue sections would greatly facilitate this research. In this chapter, we briefly review the roles of ATF3 in cellular adaptive-response and UPR, and then describe the detailed steps and tips that we developed based on general immunohistochemistry (IHC) protocols to detect ATF3 on paraffin embedded sections.
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