BrdU (5-Bromo-2′-deoxyuridine)

Technical documents: SDS CoA Datasheet

Product overview

Name BrdU (5-Bromo-2′-deoxyuridine)
Description Thymidine analog. Widely used to identify proliferating cells, enhances Yamanaka factor reprogramming
Alternative names 5-BrdU, 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine, Broxuridine
Purity >98%
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Figure 1. BrdU immunoreactivity in serum starved and subsequently stimulated HEK293T cells.
Figure 2. BrdU immunoreactivity in cultured HEK293T cells.
BrdU (5-Bromo-2′-deoxyuridine) product vial image | Hello Bio

Biological Data

Biological description

Thymidine analog which is incorporated into DNA during DNA replication (during S-phase of cell cycle). 

BrdU is used to identify proliferating cells. Labels cell lines and primary cell cultures in vitro and also cells in vivo. 

Widely used to study adult neurogenesis. Can be used in combination with neuron specific markers such as NeuN to identify newly formed neurons.

Frequently used to label and fate-map dividing cells in neural stem cell biology.

Application notes

#Protocol 1: Serum starved vs stimulated BrdU proliferation assay

  • HEK293T cells were cultured until approximately 50% confluency in 10% FBS in DMEM before media was exchanged to pure DMEM for 24hrs.
  • Cells were either left in DMEM (serum starved) or incubated in 20% FBS in DMEM (serum starved + stimulated) for 2hrs in the prescence of 10µM BrdU (HB0978).
  • Cells were fixed in 4% PFA and then stained for BrdU using a monoclonal anti-BrdU antibody (HB9919) following our ICC protocol then imaged using a confocal microscope.


#Protocol 2: Proliferation of HEK293T cells visualised using BrdU

  • BrdU cells were cultured in 10% FBS in DMEM in the prescence of 10µM BrdU (HB0978) for 5 days.
  • Cells were fixed in 4% PFA and then stained for BrdU using a monoclonal anti-BrdU antibody (HB9919) following our ICC protocol then imaged using a confocal microscope.

Solubility & Handling

Storage instructions -20°C
Solubility overview Soluble in water (50mM) and in DMSO (100mM)
Important This product is for RESEARCH USE ONLY and is not intended for therapeutic or diagnostic use. Not for human or veterinary use.



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Chemical Data

Purity >98%
Chemical name 5-Bromo-2-deoxyuridine
Molecular Weight 307.1
Chemical structure BrdU  [59-14-3] Chemical Structure
Molecular Formula C9H11BrN2O5
CAS Number 59-14-3
PubChem identifier 6035
SMILES C1[C@@H]([C@H](O[C@H]1N2C=C(C(=O)NC2=O)Br)CO)O
Source Synthetic
InChi InChI=1S/C9H11BrN2O5/c10-4-2-12(9(16)11-8(4)15)7-1-5(14)6(3-13)17-7/h2,5-7,13-14H,1,3H2,(H,11,15,16)/t5-,6+,7+/m0/s1
MDL number MFCD00006529
Appearance White solid

References for BrdU (5-Bromo-2′-deoxyuridine)

References are publications that support the biological activity of the product
  • The dark side of BrdU in neural stem cell biology: detrimental effects on cell cycle, differentiation and survival.

    Lehner B et al (2011) Cell Tissue Res 345(3) : 313-28.
  • BrdU assay for neurogenesis in rodents.

    Wojtowicz JM et al (2006) Nature protocols 1 : 1399-405
  • Running increases cell proliferation and neurogenesis in the adult mouse dentate gyrus.

    van Praag H et al (1999) Nature neuroscience 2 : 266-70
  • Neurogenesis in the adult human hippocampus.

    Eriksson PS et al (1998) Nat Med 4(11) : 1313-7.
  • Pharmacological evaluation of intravenous delivery of 5-bromodeoxyuridine to patients with brain tumors.

    Russo A et al (1984) Cancer Res 44(4) : 1702-5.

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