Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The mitochondrial matrix contains endogenously biotinylated proteins. These proteins can cause unexpected background signal when biotin-avidin- or biotin-streptavidin-based detection systems are used in immunocytochemistry. Here we show that this reactivity can be deliberately exploited, using a simple anti-biotin reagent, to obtain strong and highly specific labeling of mitochondria by both light and electron microscopy. The signal is substantially stronger than when either avidin or streptavidin is used to detect the endogenous biotin. These results confirm the accessibility of protein-bound endogenous biotin to exogenous probes, and localize the biotinylated enzymes to the mitochondrial matrix.

Original publication




Journal article


J Histochem Cytochem

Publication Date





1053 - 1057


Animals, Avidin, Bacterial Proteins, Biotin, Cells, Cultured, Kidney, Microscopy, Electron, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Microscopy, Immunoelectron, Mitochondria, Rats, Streptavidin