Despite the common use of immunohistochemistry in autopsy tissues, the stability of most proteins over extended time periods is unknown. The robustness of signal for 16 proteins (MMP1, MMP2, MMP3, MMP9, TIMP1, TIMP2, TIMP3, AGER, MSR, SCARB1, OLR1, CD36, LTF, LGALS3, LYZ, and DDOST) and two measures of advanced glycation end products (AGE, CML) was evaluated. Two formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded human tissue arrays containing 16 tissues each were created to evaluate 48 hr of autolysis in a warm or cold environment. For these classes of proteins, matrix metalloproteinases and their inhibitors, scavenger receptors, and advanced glycation end product receptors, we saw no systematic diminution of signal intensity during a period of 24 hr. Analysis was performed by two independent observers and confirmed for a subset of proteins by digital analysis and Western blotting. We conclude that these classes of proteins degrade slowly and faithfully maintain their immunohistochemistry characteristics over at least a 24-hr time interval in devitalized tissues. This study supports the use of autopsy tissues with short postmortem intervals for immunohistochemical studies for diseases such as diabetic vascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, and other pathological states. This manuscript contains online supplemental material at http://www.jhc.org. Please visit this article online to view these materials.
- Protein stability
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