Preparation of ferritin avidin conjugates by reductive alkylation for use in electron microscopic cytochemistry

E. A. Bayer, E. Skutelsky, D. Wynne, M. Wilchek

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Abstract

An improved technique was developed for the unidirectional covalent binding of avidin to ferritin by reductive alkylation. The method is based on the oxidation of sugar moieties on avidin and subsequent coupling to amino groups of ferritin via Schiff's bases followed by reduction with sodium borohydride. The resultant conjugate was used as an ultrastructural marker for the localization of surface receptor sites on biotin derivatized whole cells. Erythrocytes were treated chemically with sodium meta periodate and biotin hydrazide in succession. The ferritin avidin conjugates were used to label the biotin sites either before or after fixation of the cells. The density and distribution of ferritin avidin conjugates on cell surfaces were analyzed on thin sections and compared with those of cationized ferritin, which were shown to bind anionic sites of the erythrocyte membrane. The extension of this method for the visualization of other systems is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-939
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Volume24
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes

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