When it comes to antibody storage the rule "one method for all antibodies" does not apply, and it is not safe to assume that -80°C is always the best storage condition. Let us explain why. Antibodies are proteins of different stability, and therefore some antibodies can lose activity when stored at -80°C or on dry ice. This is also true in regards to the shipment of antibodies. Based on our experience and published references, some proteins may be damaged by storage or shipment on dry ice: Murphy et al. (2013): Protein instability following transport or storage on dry ice.
For custom produced antibodies, we recommend testing various conditions to find the most suitable one:
• -20°C or -80°C
• +4°C with preservatives like ProClin300 (Sigma), which is less toxic alternative to sodium azide (0.02%) or merthiolate
• -20°C with glycerol at a final concentration of 10% or 50% (for affinity purified antibodies)
• -20°C with BSA at final concentration of 0.05-0.5% (for affinity purified antibodies)
More information on what to consider when storing different kinds of antibodies can be found here.
A known problem is that affinity purified antibodies can precipitate when stored at 4°C. However, such antibodies may still maintain their activity towards a target protein.
For catalog antibodies, we highly recommend checking the product information sheet, which is always included with the product, and contains proper information about storage conditions. If you have further questions, you can request additional information by contacting us.
Good luck with your research!