Propidium iodide

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Propidium iodide
Propidium iodide.png
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.042.786
Molar mass 668.3946
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Propidium iodide (or PI) is a fluorescent intercalating agent that can be used to stain cells. PI binds to DNA by intercalating between the bases with little or no sequence preference. Propidium iodide is used as a DNA stain in flow cytometry to evaluate cell viability or DNA content in cell cycle analysis, [1] or in microscopy to visualize the nucleus and other DNA-containing organelles. Propidium Iodide is not membrane-permeable, making it useful to differentiate necrotic, apoptotic and healthy cells based on membrane integrity.[2][3] PI also binds to RNA, necessitating treatment with nucleases to distinguish between RNA and DNA staining.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Propidium Iodide Solution - BioLegend". Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  2. ^ Lecoeur H (2002). "Nuclear apoptosis detection by flow cytometry: influence of endogenous endonucleases". Exp. Cell Res. 277 (1): 1–14. doi:10.1006/excr.2002.5537. PMID 12061813.
  3. ^ "Propidium Iodide". ThermoFisher.
  4. ^ Suzuki T, Fujikura K, Higashiyama T, Takata K (1 January 1997). "DNA staining for fluorescence and laser confocal microscopy". J. Histochem. Cytochem. 45 (1): 49–53. doi:10.1177/002215549704500107. PMID 9010468.