Digitonin is a spirostan saponin obtained from the seeds and leaves of digitalis (Digitalis purpurea, Digitalis lanata). A mild nonionic detergent, digitonin is used in a wide range of applications, including solubilization of membrane proteins, permeabilization of cellular membranes, isolation of mitochondria and quantitation of cholesterol.
Digitonin enables the isolation of neurotransmitter receptors, such as dopamine receptors, beta adrenergic receptors, and GABA receptors. Digitonin has also been used in cellular membrane analysis by Blue-Native PAGE and Cryo-EM.
Although Digitonin is sometimes considered difficult to use due to its low solubility in water, we provide water-soluble Digitonin for Biochemistry, prepared by an original, proprietary purification method.

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  • CAS No. 11024-24-1
    Molecular Formula C56H92O29
    Monomer MW (Da) 1,229.31
    Micelle MW (Da) 70,000
    CMC (mM) 25°C <0.5
    Aggregation number 60

Water Solubility and Aqueous Solution Stability

The water solubility and aqueous solution stability of Digitonin (Water Soluble) were compared to that of a competitor’s equivalent product. Digitonin solutions (10 w/v%) were prepared at room temperature or at 60℃, and stored at 4℃ for 15 days, prior to optical density (600nm) measurements.

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  • ■Compared products:
    - Wako Digitonin (Water soluble)
    - Company A’s water-soluble Digitonin
    ■Wako Digitonin lot no.: PTF7501
    ■Tested solubility: 10 w/v%
    ■Aqueous solution preparation procedure:
    1. Room temperature, mixing for 5 minutes.
    2. Incubation at 60℃ for 5 minutes.
    ■Aqueous solution storage temperature: 4℃.



Condition 1: Dissolved at Room temperature → Stored at 4℃ for 15 days

Wako Digitonin (Water Soluble) :
 No notable increase of OD value up to Day 10.
Company A’s Water Soluble Digitonin:
 Increase of OD value from Day 1.

Condition 2: Incubated at 60℃ for 5 minutes → Stored at 4℃ for 15days

Wako Digitonin (Water Soluble) :
 No precipitation observed by the end of the experiment (Day 15).
Company A’s Water Soluble Digitonin:
 Precipitation observed on Day 13.


Solubility and stability tests were performed on a 10 w/v% aqueous solution made from a typical lot of Digitonin. Note that 10 w/v% is much higher than the concentration adopted as quality criterion. Wako guarantees 4 w/v% solubility for every lot of Digitonin.


Digitonin (Water Soluble) for Biochemistry Digitonin (Ethanol Soluble), Wako Special Grade
Appearance : White ~ nearly white, powder Appearance : White ~ nearly white,
crystals ~ powder or mass
Solubility in water (4%) : to pass test Solubility in ethanol : to pass test
Loss on drying at 105℃ : max. 6.0% Loss on drying at 105℃ : max. 6.0%
Specific rotation [α]D20
(c=5, CH3COOH) (after drying)
: -45 ~ -50° Specific rotation [α]D20
(c=5, CH3COOH) (after drying)
: -45 ~ -50°
Residue after iginition (as sulfate) : max. 0.2% Residue after iginition (as sulfate) : max. 0.2%
Sensitivity : to pass test Sensitivity : to pass test

References - Application examples of Digitonin

Adjubant for Antisense Morpholino Oligonucleotides.
Saponins as Natural Adjuvant for Antisense Morpholino Oligonucleotides Delivery In Vitro and in mdx Mice
Wang M. et al.: Molecular Therapy Nucleic Acids, Vol. 11, 192-202 (2018)

Permeabilizing cell membrane to form semi-intact cells.
Reconstitution of nucleocytoplasmic transport using digitonin-permeabilized cells
Kose S. et al.: Nuclear Bodies and Noncoding RNAs. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 1262 (2015)

Permeabilizing cell membrane to detect endogenous LC3 by the antibody.
Lysosomal Turnover, but Not a Cellular Level, of Endogenous LC3 is a Marker for Autophagy
Tanida I. et al.: Autophagy 1:2. 84-91 (2005)

Isolataion of dystrophin from digitonin-solubilized skeletal muscle membranes.
Association of dystrophin and an integral membrane glycoprotein
Campbell K. & Kahl S.: Nature, Vol. 338, No. 6212, pp. 259-262 (1989)

Purification of D2-dopamine receptor.
Purification and characterization of the D2-dopamine receptor from bovine anterior pituitary
Senogles SE et al.: THE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY, Vol. 263, No. 34, pp. 18996-19002 (1988)

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Digitonin (Solubility in water [4%]: to pass test)


For research use or further manufacturing use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

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