What could go wrong in Western blot?

Even though the procedure for western blot is simple, many problems can arise, leading to unexpected results. The problem can be grouped into five categories: (1) unusual or unexpected bands, (2) no bands, (3) faint bands or weak signal, (4) high background on the blot, and (5) patchy or uneven spots on the blot.

How do you troubleshoot a Western blot?

Make sure you incubate samples at 4°C. Keep on ice throughout the western blot process. Not enough washing between steps. Residual unbound antibodies or other reagents remaining between steps can produce a high background.

What are the disadvantages of Western blotting?

The main limitation of western blotting is that it can only be carried out if a primary antibody against the protein of interest is available. To detect post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation of target proteins, specific antibodies against the phosphorylated residues are needed.

Why did my Western blot not transfer?

Western Blot Transfer Troubleshooting: No bands transferred to the membrane. When none of the protein bands appear on the membrane, the most likely reason is problems relating to either the equipment or the assembly of the gel membrane sandwich. Another reason for the absence of protein is a short transfer time.

How can I improve my western blot results?


  1. Reduce primary antibody concentration.
  2. Decrease the amount of total protein loaded on gel.
  3. Adjust membrane blocking conditions.
  4. Increase number of washes.
  5. Verify the specificity of the antibody.
  6. Blot with the secondary antibody alone.
  7. If bands develop, choose an alternate secondary antibody.

Why is my western blot all black?

9.Black dots on the blot The blocking agent was not well dissolved. Filter the blocking agent. The antibody reacts with the blocking solution. There are aggregates in the HRP conjugated secondary antibody.

How do you prevent protein degradation in western blot?

How To Preserve Your Samples In Western Blotting

  1. Work quickly. Working quickly can minimize potential damage to your samples by simply allowing less time for them to become degraded.
  2. Keep everything cool. Heat is the enemy of proteins in solution, since proteases are active at warmer temperatures.
  3. Use protease inhibitors.

What are the advantages of Western blot?

The two primary advantages of Western blotting are sensitivity and specificity. Silver staining may detect 10ng of protein, and it will detect all proteins in a given sample. Western blotting can detect as little as 0.1ng of protein, and it will selectively detect only the protein of interest.

How can I improve my Western blot?

What was the problem with my Western blot?

What went wrong? A Western Blot Troubleshooting Guide Bad Western blots. It happens! Use our Western blot troubleshooting guide to help you sort it out so that your next blot is your best blot.

What should I do if my western blotting gel is runny?

Such a gel will not run properly. A runny gel. Before you use your gel, gently tilt it to ensure that it is completely set up. If you see any of these problems, chuck your gel and start over. It is faster to make a new gel than to do a new sample preparation AND a new gel.

Which is the best protocol for Western blotting?

An optimize protocol will maximize your protein-of-interest’s solubility and stability, which will allow you to better visualize your protein and reliably interpret your Western blot data. 2. A Bad Gel After hours of performing experiments and preparing samples, you better make sure your samples are loaded onto a pristine gel!

How to optimize transfer time in western blot?

Transfer time can be optimized by monitoring the degree of transfer of molecular weight markers included in the Western blot electrophoresis step. Fig 1. Typical wet transfer setup. Fig 2. Typical semidry transfer setup. 2. Western Blot Transfer Troubleshooting: Individual bands or entire sections of the blot missing