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Cell Growth and Cell Viability Detection Reagents

Schematic representation of the cell cycle. Ki-67 is expressed during G1, S, G2 and M phases.

Schematic representation of the cell cycle. Ki-67 is expressed during G1, S, G2 and M phases. PCNA is present from G1 through to G2. MCM 2 is critical for replication in G1 while the BrdU method recognizes replicating cells during S phase.

What is Cell Proliferation and How to Analyze it?

Cell proliferation is the rapid expansion of a cell population due to cell growth and division. This cellular process has to be carefully regulated as the smallest alterations can result in an uncontrolled increase of cell numbers, and eventually cancer. To sustain homeostasis and ultimately prevent carcinogenesis, uncontrolled cell proliferation is often counteracted by an increase in apoptosis.

In eukaryotes the cell cycle can be grouped into three major stages:

  • Interphase (a growth period, comprising of G1, S and G2 phase, in which the cell duplicates its DNA)
  • Mitotic phase (the chromosomes get separated into two sets in preparation for division; M phase consists of 4 stages: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase) 
  • Cytokinesis (division to form two daughter cells)

Cell cycle deregulation and impaired cell cycle checkpoints are two of the most common causes of aberrant cell proliferation. Cell proliferation can be measured by quantifying protein levels of key proliferation markers such as Ki-67, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and minichromosome maintenance 2 (MCM 2), and also by measuring incorporation of Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU).

BrdU is a thymidine analog, which is incorporated into the newly synthesized DNA of proliferating cells instead of thymidine when added to cell culture media. The incorporated BrdU can be detected and measured with the help of BrdU specific antibodies.

Learn more about cell proliferation assessments and the key cell proliferation biomarkers Ki-67, MCM2 and PCNA in our Mini-review titled "Understanding the Eukaryotic Cell Cycle - a Biological and Experimental Overview".


Featured Cell Proliferation Products:


alamarBlue® reagent

alamarBlue® provides a rapid and sensitive way to measure cell proliferation. Just add and measure.

alamarBlue® (BUF012A, BUF012B)

alamarBlue®  assays are a convenient and quick way to measure cell proliferation and cytotoxicity in human and animal cell lines, bacteria and fungi. Key advantages over traditional MTT and XTT assays include:

  • Increased sensitivity - as few as 50 cells can be detected
  • Excellent stability - allowing for continuous reading over several days in culture
  • Safety - non toxic to cells, users and the environment

Access our alamarBlue® page for FAQs, online calculators, example calculations, references, protocols or download the alamarBlue® brochure.

Immunostaining of BrdU labeled HeLa cells with Mouse Anti-BrdU Antibody, clone Bu20a (MCA2483, red). Cytoplasm was stained with Rabbit Anti-GAPDH Antibody (AHP1628, green). PureBlu™ DAPI (1351303, blue) was used as a nuclear counterstain.

Mouse monoclonal anti-BrdU antibody (MCA2483)

Mouse anti-BrdU antibody, clone Bu20a is one of the most commonly used anti-BrdU antibodies. The product is supported by comprehensive protocols for use in flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry, and 10 publications.

Applications: Flow Cytometry, Immunocytochemistry, Immunofluorescence

Citations: >10

Find out more about BrdU

Western blot analysis of whole cell lysates probed with Goat Anti-NPM Antibody (VPA00058)  followed by detection with HRP conjugated Donkey Anti-Sheep/Goat IgG (1/10,000, STAR88P) and visualized on the ChemiDoc MP with 17 second exposure. Arrow points to NPM (molecular weight 38 kDa).

Western blot analysis of whole cell lysates probed with Goat Anti-NPM Antibody (VPA00058) followed by detection with HRP conjugated Donkey Anti-Sheep/Goat IgG (1/10,000, STAR88P) and visualized on the ChemiDoc MP with 17 second exposure. Arrow points to NPM (molecular weight 38 kDa).

Goat Anti-NPM PrecisionAb Antibody (VPA00058)

Nucleophosmin, abbreviated as NPM, belongs to the nucleophosmin/nucleoplasmin family of chaperones. NPM is ubiquitously expressed in mammalian cells and shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm to regulate cellular processes, such as transport of pre-ribosomal particles, ribosome biogenesis, genome stability, regulation of transcription factors including p53 activity and the “master regulator” of cell cycle gene expression Forkhead box protein M1 (FOXM1). Interaction of NPM with FOXM1 modulates both the level and localization of FOXM1. Overexpression of NPM results in increased cell growth and proliferation. 

Learn more about PrecisionAb range.

Western blot analysis of whole cell lysates probed with Mouse Anti-ROCK1 Antibody (VMA00614) followed by detection with HRP conjugated Goat Anti-Mouse IgG (1/10,000, STAR207P) and visualized on the ChemiDoc MP with 11 second exposure

Western blot analysis of whole cell lysates probed with Mouse Anti-ROCK1 Antibody (VMA00614) followed by detection with HRP conjugated Goat Anti-Mouse IgG (1/10,000, STAR207P) and visualized on the ChemiDoc MP with 11 second exposure. Arrow points to ROCK1 (molecular weight 185 kDa). 

Mouse Anti-ROCK1 PrecisionAb Antibody (VMA00614)

ROCK1 is a serine⁄threonine kinase that acts as a downstream effector of Rho. It is a key regulator of the actin cytoskeleton, cell polarity and cancer cell invasion. Activation of ROCK has been implicated in tumor formation in mice due to its importance in the maintenance of actomyosin contractility and cell proliferation regulation. Strong evidence also suggests a role for ROCK in glucose metabolism. Major downstream ROCK1 substrates include DAPK3, FHOD1, GFAP, JIP3, LIMK1, LIMK2, MLC, PFN1, PPP1R12A. ROCK-1 is a direct cleavage substrate of activated caspase-3

Applications: Western Blotting

Related Products: Antibodies for kinase research


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alamarBlue® is manufactured for Bio-Rad by Trek Diagnostic System. US. patent 5,501,959.
Alexa Fluor® is a registered trademark of Molecular Probes Inc, OR, USA.
HuCAL® and HuCAL® GOLD are registered trademarks of MorphoSys AG.