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Methanol Fixation

Dr E. Buxbaum EB15 at le.ac.uk
Tue Oct 29 06:16:28 EST 1996

Methanol is normaly a good precipitant for proteins, like ethanol and 
aceton too. However, this depends somewhat on the properties of the 
protein, in particular its size and hydrophobicity. 

The purpose of methanol in this procedure is more to make the membrane 
permeable to small solutes than to fix the cells. You may have better 
results by fixing first, for example with formaldehyde (4% in PBS) or 
glutardialdehyde (1-2%) for single cells and Bouins solution for 
tissue sections. By the way, the fear of formaldehyde in 
immunocytochemistry is largely unfounded, only few monoclonal antibodies 
do not react with aldehyde fixed tissues, polyclonals are almost always 

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