In previous posts we provided you with several great tips for proteomic researchers (see five great tips for researchers working with proteins and more great proteomic applications tips). Today we will present you with the final in the series of application tips which are sure to improve the quality of your proteomic experiments.
- To ensure proper and consistent visualization with a silver stain, use ultrapure water with all organic contaminants removed for the final rinse of your staining vessel. In addition, reserve that vessel exclusively for silver staining, and separate it from other glassware in your laboratory.
- Proteins must be soluble if they are to be separated and identified on 2-D gels. Protein insolubility (precipitation) leads to loss of sample spots and streaking on 2-D gels.
- Fractionation may improve your 2-D result by reducing sample complexity, improving the range of detection, and enriching low-abundance proteins. Fractionation can be performed according to many protein properties, including subcellular location, solubility, size, charge, and pI.
- Improve the resolution and reproducibility of 2-D gels by performing sample cleanup to remove salts, charged detergents, phenolics, lipids, sugars, and nucleic acids. Cleanup will also reduce disulfide bonds.
- NaCl increases conductivity, extends the time required for focusing, causes electroendosmosis, and results in uneven water distribution in the gel. In general, the tolerated concentrations of NaCl for proper in-gel rehydration and cup loading are 10 mM and 40 mM, respectively.
- Nucleic acids bind proteins through electrostatic interaction, thereby interfering with isoelectric focusing. Nucleic acids can also clog the pores of the acrylamide matrix. Remove nucleic acids with nucleases and ultracentrifugation in the presence of carrier ampholytes. In addition, benzonase can be used in a sample together with urea to remove DNA or RNA contamination.
- Insoluble material in a sample obstructs gel pores, resulting in poor focusing and severe streaking. Remove these materials by high-speed centrifugation (for example, 20,000 x g for 30 minutes at 20°C).
- To monitor the initial progress of the electrophoresis on the IPG strips, add up to 0.001% of Bromophenol Blue to both the rehydration and equilibration buffers.
For more great tips visit www.expressionproteomics.com