BSA, a commonly used carrier protein
Bovine serum albumin (BSA) is a protein with molecular weight of 66 kDa. BSA finds applications in ELISA, immunoblots, and immunohistochemistry, especially as a blocker of non-specific binding in antibody-based assays. BSA contains several lysines that are typically used in linker conjugation, and hence, BSA is a popular carrier protein for weakly antigenic compounds. Owing to its smaller size and solubility in water, it is preferred over KLH in immunoassays.
BSA labeled with biotin or fluorescent dyes serve as important tracer molecules in several applications. For example, biotinylated BSA is widely used in binding assays, protein printing, carrier protein test and as a permeability probe. On the other hand, BSA labeled with fluorescent dyes such as HiLyte™ Fluor 488/555/647/750 have been used in quantitative studies of electroporation and measurement of plasma volume in rats. Other applications include studying the rate of receptor-mediated endocytosis/exocytosis and following intracellular protein processing. Further, BSA - HiLyte™ Fluor conjugates can be used in microvascular imaging and drug delivery studies.
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