[Histonet] RE: Proteolytic enzyme pretreatment before immunostaining

Goins, Tresa TGoins <@t> mt.gov
Wed Aug 1 08:59:36 CDT 2012

The proteolytic activity of the enzymes can be non-specific (Pronase) or specific (peptide bonds at lysine and arginine residues, Trypsin).  The effect of formalin fixation is not identified, so we always assess Pepsin, Trypsin and Pronase along with heat retrieval methods regardless of what the supplier data sheet recommends.    


Dear Histonetters,

Could anyone explain about the difference between proteolytic enzymes for immuostaining? 

We use enzyme pretreatment rarely nowadays, and apart from some ready-to-use one (Dako's Proteinase K), I have used Protease (Sigma) previously when I did manual staining.

At the moment I am using Leica's BondMax autostainer and their enzyme pretreatment kit (Trypsin ??, usually one drop per 7 ml vial). I know the pretreatment condition would be affected by the concentration of enzymes, pH, temperature, incubation time etc.


My question is that do they have different mode of action on tissues? I am helping a research project and our antibody includes various clones of Integrin 6 subunit and uPAR.

I have tried enzyme pretreatment with autostainer and manual staining with Proteinase K (Dako). It seems that some antibodies work better with certain enzymes. 

I mean that some antibodies work well after BondMax enzyme treatment, but some antibody works better with proteinase K pretreatment manually.
I am using the same polymer detection system (Leica Microsystem) for both methods.

I would like to find an enzyme which works for both of our antibodies at the same time.

Thank you.




Young Kwun

Senior Hospital Scientist


Dept. of Anatomical Pathology

Concord Repatriation General Hospital

Concord NSW 2139 Australia


02-9767-6075 (Tel)

02-9767-8427 (Fax)

Young.Kwun <@t> sswahs.nsw.gov.au



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