Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)

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BrdU next to the deoxynucleoside deoxythymidine (dT) it can replace during DNA synthesis

Bromodeoxyuridine (5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine, BrdU) is a synthetic nucleoside analogue of thymidine. BrdU is commonly used to detect cell proliferation.


BrdU is phosphorylated by cells to BrdUTP. This precursor is incorporated into newly synthesised DNA during S phase instead of deoxythymidine triphosphate (dTTP). It can then be detected with an anti-BrdU antibody coupled to a fluorophore or an enzyme. Other detection methods include BrdU quenching of DNA fluorophores and selective photolysis of BrdU-containing DNA.


See also