Organelle and DNA markers and dyes

Explore research tools to identify protein subcellular localization.

High-resolution imaging allows you to track the location and movement of proteins within the cellular environment. To ensure proper interpretation of these experiments, it is necessary to confirm whether the protein is actually located in the subcellular environment we expect.


Tracking your protein of interest

Two approaches can be used to confirm the subcellular localization of a protein: organelle-specific antibodies and organelle stains.

Organelle stains can be used as counterstains to help identify the location of specific proteins and targets of interest within the cell, while antibodies against proteins associated with a specific organelle can lead to a better understanding of cellular function.

For nuclear staining, you have several options, including the highly success DRAQ staining. 

Organelle marker antibodies

Over 60 targets for multiple organelles and structuresEasily identify cellular organelles and structures
The brightest dyes availableGreater sensitivity with Alexa Fluor® dyes
Multiple host species and clonalitiesEasily study multiple targets with RabMAb® reagents

Browse organelle marker antibodies

Cytopainter organelle dyes

Use in live and fixed cellsEasy to implement in your current staining protocols
Suitable for proliferating and non-proliferating cellsMaybe used in most cellular or tissue samples
High photostabililtyMinimal photobleaching allows longer exposure times

When might a Cytopainter dye work best for you?

  • Working with live cells. The currently available range of antibodies can only be used on fixed cells, not when studying a time-lapsed event in live cells. Most organelle dyes will stain subcellular compartments in live cells as well as being retained within said compartments after a fixation step.

    This versatile characteristic means that they can also be used for co-staining experiments that use antibodies.

  • Studying multiple proteins. The number of proteins that can be studied using antibodies is limited by the number of species in which fluorescence-linked antibodies are available.

    Organelle dyes bypass this limitation as they are chemical compounds, making them an excellent alternative to antibodies when the experiment requires multiple targets.

  • Morphology/distribution studies. When studying disease models and mutated cells, it is possible that the marker protein will not be localized in the subcellular compartment where it should be, or that the morphology of the organelle might be compromised.

    Organelle stains will stain the subcellular structures as long as they are intact, even if its morphology has been changed.

View our range of cytopainter organelle dyes.

DRAQTM dyes for nuclear staining

DRAQ5™ and DRAQ7™ are far-red fluorescent dyes that are used for nuclear staining.

Features of DRAQ5™

  • Anthraquinone (412.54 Da) dye with far-red fluorescence
  • No photobleaching effect – photo and chemically stable
  • Quantification of DNA content/DNA specific
  • Stoichiometric – applications in cell cycle analysis

Advantages of DRAQ5™

  • Allows rapid staining of dsDNA/nuclei of LIVE and FIXED cells
  • Allows gating of nucleated cells (no-wash, no-lyse), no RNase needed
  • Segmentation of live cells (nucl:cyto)
  • Ideal for use in multi-color analysis and compatible with GFP labels and DyLight® 488
  • Excitation in a wide range of convenient wave lengths (e.g. 488, 514, 568, 633 or 647 nm)
  • Despite sub-optimal excitation at 488 nm, the high affinity DNA binding characteristics of DRAQ5™ permit reporting by 488 nm laser systems
  • No compensation needed as no overlap with GFP/FITC and PE
  • Half scan times of Hoechst /DAPI
  • Fully compatible with CyGEL™ (ab109204) and CyGEL Sustain™ (ab109205) thermo-reversible gels

Applications of DRAQ5™

DRAQ5™ is suitable for use on a wide range of instrumentation platforms and can be simply integrated into existing protocols and procedures. Applications of DRAQ5™ include:

  • Flow Cytometry
  • Laser Scanning Cytometry
  • Lamp/Camera Microscopy
  • Confocal Microscopy
  • HTC/HCS platforms
  • MicroArray and Biochip technologies

DRAQ7 dyes only stain nuclei in dead or permabilized cells and does not enter intact live cells.

  • DRAQ7™ (ab109202):

  • Label dead and permeabilized cells
  • No photobleaching effect – photo and chemically stable
  • Compatible with FITC/PE stained samples
  • Excitation: 633 and 647 nm line optimal (Exmax 599 / 644 nm)
  • Emission (instrument dependent): 665 nm to infra-red <800 nm (Emmax 678 nm / 697 nm intercalated with dsDNA)

Browse our DRAQ dyes

Product highlights

Sample: Methanol fixed Hek293 cells

Green staining: Subcellular marker ab197496 - Mouse monoclonal to alpha 1 Sodium Potassium ATPase (Alexa Fluor® 488)

Redstaining: Ab195889 - Mouse monoclonal to alpha Tubulin (Alexa Fluor® 594)

​​​​​Blue staining: Nucleus labeled with DAPI

Sample: whole Hydractinia fixed in 4% PFA

Red staining: Actin filaments stained with CytoPainter F-actin staining kit - Red Fluorescence (ab112127) at 1:500 dilution

Blue staining: Nucleus labeled with Hoechst nuclear staining

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