A rapid, sensitive method for detection of alkaline phosphatase-conjugated anti-antibody on Western blots

Anal Biochem. 1984 Jan;136(1):175-9. doi: 10.1016/0003-2697(84)90320-8.


A rapid, sensitive method has been developed to detect antibody-antigen complexes on "Western blots." The methods of H. Towbin, T. Staehlin, and J. Gordon were used to separate and blot the antigens onto nitrocellulose. The remaining sites of attachment were blocked and the nitrocellulose was washed with polyoxyethylenesorbitan monolaurate (Tween 20). The blot was then reacted with the antiserum or hybridoma supernate to be tested. After the antigen-antibody reaction was completed, the blot was washed and treated with anti-antibody which had been conjugated to alkaline phosphatase. The alkaline phosphatase was detected by the reduction of the tetrazolium salt to diformazan by the hydrogen ions released in the formation of indigo by the reaction of the phosphatase on the indoxyl phosphate. The advantages of this method over previously described techniques are (1) use of Tween 20 allows the blot to be stained with Coomassie blue, (2) the substrates of the alkaline phosphatase reaction are stable for long periods of time, (3) the reaction products form an intense blue color which does not fade, (4) the resolution is extremely good with little to no band broadening, (5) the reaction is sensitive to picogram quantities of antigen, and (6) the reaction is quantitative.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / analysis
  • Antigens, Bacterial / analysis
  • Collodion
  • Electrophoresis
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / analysis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis
  • Rabbits
  • Synapsins


  • Antibodies
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Synapsins
  • Collodion
  • Alkaline Phosphatase