Propidium iodide

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Structural formula
Structural formula of propidium iodide
Surname Propidium iodide
other names


Molecular formula C 27 H 34 I 2 N 4
Brief description

dark red, crystalline powder

External identifiers / databases
CAS number 25535-16-4
EC number 247-081-0
ECHA InfoCard 100,042,786
PubChem 53628239
ChemSpider 94732
Wikidata Q424169
Molar mass 668.40 g mol −1
Physical state


Melting point

220-225 ° C


soluble in water

safety instructions
GHS labeling of hazardous substances
07 - Warning


H and P phrases H: 315-319-335
P: 261-305 + 351 + 338
As far as possible and customary, SI units are used. Unless otherwise noted, the data given apply to standard conditions .

Propidium iodide ( PI ) acts like ethidium bromide as a nucleic acid intercalator . The dye can penetrate the perforated cell membrane of dead cells, but not the intact membrane of living cells . This property is in flow cytometry for discrimination of cell viability used. Another flow cytometric application of PI is the measurement of the DNA content of cells. This is mainly used to analyze the cell cycle or to determine polyploidy .

Propidium iodide has an absorption maximum at 488  nm and an emission maximum at 590 nm. These maxima shift to 535 nm and 617 nm, respectively, when propidium iodide intercalates in DNA.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c data sheet propidium iodide (PDF) from Carl Roth , accessed on June 23, 2010.
  2. a b Propidium iodide data sheet from Sigma-Aldrich , accessed on April 22, 2011 ( PDF ).
  3. T. Hoppe: Studies on the developmental physiology and molecular phylogenetics of selected representatives of the myxomycetes and euglenids capable of photosynthesis (organism kingdom Protoctista) , p. 32, Kassel University Press, Kassel, 2010, ISBN 3-89958-808-8 .