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File:Digoxigenin acsv.svg
chemical structure of digoxigenin

Digoxigenin (DIG) is a steroid found exclusively in the flowers and leaves of the plants Digitalis purpurea and Digitalis lanata.

Use in biotechnology

Its small size and relative ease with which it can be attached to biological molecules, along with the availability of antibodies in order to target it, makes it a useful tool in biochemistry. Along with fluorescein, it has become the standard immunohistochemical marker for in situ hybridisation[citation needed]. In this case it is conjugated to a single species of RNA nucleotide triphosphate (typically Uridine), which is then incorporated into the riboprobe as it is synthesised.

It may also be conjugated with sugars, allowing the incorporation of specific sugars into glycoproteins to be imaged in a similar way.


  • Hauptmann, G.; Gerster, T. (1994). "Two-color whole-mount in situ hybridization to vertebrate and Drosophila embryos." Trends Genet. 10 (8): 266. PMID 7940754.

See also