Preserve Cultured Cell Cytonemes through a Modified Electron Microscopy Fixation

Bio Protoc. 2018 Jul 5;8(13):e2898. doi: 10.21769/BioProtoc.2898.


Immunocytochemistry of cultured cells is a common and effective technique for determining compositions and localizations of proteins within cellular structures. However, traditional cultured cell fixation and staining protocols are not effective in preserving cultured cell cytonemes, long specialized filopodia that are dedicated to morphogen transport. As a result, limited mechanistic interrogation has been performed to assess their regulation. We developed a fixation protocol for cultured cells that preserves cytonemes, which allows for immunofluorescent analysis of endogenous and over-expressed proteins localizing to the delicate cellular structures.

Keywords: Cytonemes; Filopodia; Immunofluorescence; MEM-fix; Microscopy; Morphogen.