After fixation, cells were pelleted at approximately 400 g for 5 minutes, decanted, and resuspended in ice cold methanol for permeabilization

After fixation, cells were pelleted at approximately 400 g for 5 minutes, decanted, and resuspended in ice cold methanol for permeabilization. also enhanced assay sensitivity and, in conjunction with fluorescent cell barcoding, improved assay performance according to a metric used to evaluate high-throughput drug screens. TSA was used to profile Stat1 phosphorylation in primary immune system cells, which revealed heterogeneity in various populations, including CD4+ FoxP3+ regulatory T cells. We anticipate the approach will be broadly applicable to intracellular flow cytometry assays with low signal-to-noise ratios. or exogenous manipulation, such as receptor-mediated stimulation or Hyperoside drug treatment, and subsequently fixed and permeabilized to preserve biochemical cell says and permit Hyperoside intracellular access to fluorescent detection antibodies (1C3). The technique allows rapid and simultaneous assessment of multiple steady-state and active-state proteins together with phenotypic FOXO3 markers in heterogeneous populations and rare cell subsets (4C8). Intracellular flow cytometry delivers highly quantitative measurements consistent with traditional biochemical methods (2,9,10). Many intracellular molecules of interest, however, are expressed at low levels, perhaps at hundreds to only a few thousands of copies per cell. Detection of these targets using conventional flow cytometers and staining techniques is not reliable. Flow cytometric instrument detection limits in the fluorescein channel, for example, range from approximately 1000C3000 molecules (11,12). Cellular autofluorescence also plagues measurement sensitivity: one report determined that this 98th percentile of autofluorescence in various primary cell populations was equivalent to 2500C4000 fluorescein molecules (12). Therefore discriminating unfavorable leukocytes from those bound with thousands of fluorescein-conjugated antibodies is usually often not possible. Detection can be performed in spectral regions with low cellular autofluorescence, but fluorophore choices are limited, collection optics and detection devices are never perfectly efficient, and one cannot completely escape background noise (13). In the end, it is not affordable to expect that every endogenous target will be detectable by traditional flow cytometry. Accordingly, signal amplification approaches that improve detection sensitivity are needed. Enhancement of flow cytometric sensitivity has been exhibited using both multi-step indirect staining methods and enzyme-linked strategies (14,15). Although enzymatic approaches can theoretically amplify antibody detection by several orders of magnitude, application to flow cytometry was initially untenable because reporter chromophores or fluorophores washed away from cells. Catalyzed reporter deposition (CARD) involves enzyme-driven deposition and accumulation of a reporter molecule onto a surface (16). The technique was first applied to plate and membrane immunoassays and later extended to cell-based applications, including histochemistry, fluorescence and electron microscopy, and hybridization (17C20). A common embodiment of CARD is usually tyramide signal amplification (TSA), which entails enzymatic deposition by horseradish peroxidase (HRP) of a tyramine-derivatized detection molecule, called a tyramide, in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. For cellular immunoassays, HRP molecules conjugated to cell-bound detection antibodies catalyze oxidation of tyramides into reactive free radicals that stably deposit onto local cellular macromolecules or oligomerize and precipitate in amounts proportional to target abundance (21,22). Successful application of TSA to flow cytometry was initially slow, but conditions were established that yield significant enhancement of cell surface marker measurements (23C25). Around the same time, Kaplan et al. as well as others applied the technique to achieve sensitive detection of intracellular proteins, including Epstein-Barr computer virus protein LMP-1, and human interferon-, interleukin-4, and D cyclins (25C27). Subsequently, measurement of D cyclins by TSA revealed differential expression in three B cell lymphoproliferative diseases (28). Recently, TSA-based measurement of intracellular signaling activity in leukemic B cells showed that basal levels of ZAP-70 and Syk phosphorylation were negatively correlated to total expression of ZAP-70 protein (29). In light of the power of TSA, this study aimed to quantitatively standardize the approach for intracellular flow cytometry by optimizing for superior measurement resolution of phospho-protein activation in intracellular kinase cascades. Cell signaling events afford readily tunable systems with broad, knowable ranges of relative target concentrations. Moreover, recent clinical focus on aberrant kinase activities in disease has prompted a Hyperoside general interest in application of intracellular flow cytometry for measurement of phospho-protein abundance. This technique, called phospho flow, has been used to discern endogenous kinase pathways in multiple human and mouse primary cell subsets, stratify patients, generate hypotheses regarding kinase dysregulation in cancer and autoimmunity, diagram signaling maps, and assess efficacy and pharmacodynamics of known drugs in patients and culture systems (5,6,9,30C39). Furthermore, drug screening in cell lines and primary cells using phospho flow has allowed identification of compounds with activities specific to particular signaling pathways and cell subtypes (39C41). We hypothesized that an optimized TSA approach would improve intracellular flow cytometry measurement resolution by overcoming.