AAT Bioquest

What are the techniques used for autophagy detection?

Posted September 20, 2023


Autophagy detection is important for understanding its role in various biological processes and diseases. There are several techniques that may be used to detect autophagy. No single technique is best for every situation. The best technique for autophagy detection will depend on the conditions and goal of the experiment. These are four of the most widely used techniques for autophagy detection:

  • Electron Microscopy - Electron microscopy is the most comprehensive technique that can be used for measuring the entire process. It allows for the direct visualization and identification of the morphology and cellular position of various autophagy structures such as autophagosomes and autolysosomes. 

  • Western Blotting - Western blotting can be used to detect and quantify autophagy-related proteins, such as LC3-II in the cell sample. The protein band is compared to the control to determine autophagic activity.

  • Flow Cytometry - Flow cytometry is a versatile technique that enables the simultaneous detection of multiple components of the autophagy pathway. Additionally, this technique also allows rapid quantification because of the ability to analyze a large number of cells.

  • Microscopy - Immunofluorescence (IF) - Immunofluorescence staining with specific antibodies against autophagy-related proteins can be used to visualize the formation and localization of autophagy-related proteins. 

Additional resources

Methods for the Detection of Autophagy in Mammalian Cells


Cell Meter™ Autophagy Fluorescence Imaging Kit