Can We Trust Western Blots?


April 28, 2014
Dr. Aldrin V. Gomes
Associate Professor of Neurobiology at the University of California, Davis
46 min

Western blotting is a widely used technique to identify and quantify proteins in complex samples. Unfortunately, as an editor of several journals, Professor Aldrin V. Gomes routinely observes western blots that are not properly conducted. The generally low quality of western blotting data has led scientists to question whether we can trust protein quantification when using western blots. Reducing errors and misinterpretations requires standardized procedure and proper controls.

In this webinar, Dr. Gomes discusses the following key factors for high-confidence western blot data:

  1. Quality of the primary and secondary antibodies and the blocking reagent
  2. Proper target protein controls
  3. Choice of total protein loading control vs. housekeeping protein loading control to normalize the target protein measurement

Prof. Gomes also presents tips to reduce the overall time required for first-rate western blots an how to minimize the pain of going through a long procedure. The scientific community needs to continue to increase the awareness of problems associated with western blotting and introduce, improve, and standardize basic criteria for western blotting practices so that the most investigators will be successful in eliminating common problems associated with "bad" western blots.

About the speaker:
Dr. Aldrin V. Gomes, Associate Professor of Neurobiology at the University of California, Davis, studies the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction, particularly in muscle contraction and cardiovascular disease. The two main research areas in the Gomes laboratory are the role of the proteasome in normal, protected, and diseased cardiac and skeletal muscle and the role of troponin in calcium regulation of muscle contraction in hypertrophic, dilated, and restrictive cardiomyopathies.