Schüchner S et al.
Western blotting is one of the most widely used techniques in molecular biology and biochemistry. Prestained proteins are used as molecular weight standards in protein electrophoresis. In the chemiluminescent Western blot analysis, however, these colored protein markers are invisible leaving researchers with the unsatisfying situation that the signal for the protein of interest and the signal for the markers are not captured simultaneously and have to be merged in an error-prone step. To allow the simultaneous detection of marker proteins we generated monoclonal antibodies specific for the protein dyes. To elicit a dye rather than protein specific immune response we immunized mice sequentially with dye-carrier protein complexes, in which a new carrier protein was used for each subsequent immunization. Moreover, by sequentially immunizing with dye-carrier protein complexes, in which different but structurally related dyes were used, we could also generate an antibody, termed anti-RAINBOW, that cross-reacted even with structurally related dyes not used in the immunizations. Our novel antibodies represent convenient tools for the simultaneous Western blot detection of commercially available prestained marker proteins in combination with the detection of any specific protein of interest. These antibodies will render obsolete the anachronistic tradition of manually charting marker bands on film.