bacterial permeabilisation

Howard Shapiro hms at
Thu Jul 1 19:54:53 EST 2004

Josef Schulze-Horsel wrote:

>I'm searching for a possiblity to permeabilize gram positive and/or 
>negative bacteria for intracellular staining (e.g. PI).
>Any ideas? Any experiences with digitonin or glutaraldehyde?

The lantibiotic nisin will form an 8 Angstrom pore in bacterial cytoplasmic 
membranes, making the orgnaisms permeable to PI, TO-PRO-3, and other 
relatively small molecules. The concentration needed varies with the 
organism. This strategy won't work if you are trying to get larger 
molecules, such as antibodies and nucleic acid probes, into the bacteria, 
so you might want to tell us more about the range of intracellular stains 
you'd like to use.


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