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Anal Biochem. 1997 Apr 5;247(1):1-10.

Isoelectric focusing in immobilized pH gradients: recent analytical and preparative developments.

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  • 1Department of Agricultural and Industrial Biotechnologies, University of Verona, Italy. RIGHETTI@IMIUCCA.CSI.UNIMI.IT

Abstract

Isoelectric focusing in immobilized pH gradients (IPG), covering both analytical and preparative aspects, is here reviewed. An extensive introduction covers the development of the technique from its inception in 1982 to present day methodology, with particular emphasis on the development of computer programs able to calculate and optimize linear and nonlinear pH gradients, spanning as much as 9 pH units, from a mixture of as many as 10 different buffering ions and titrants. The unique resolving power of IPGs is illustrated with the resolution of fetal globin chains differing by an Ala/Gly substitution in residue 75, this bringing about a minute difference in pI value of only 0.001 pH units. IPG runs, performed under denaturing conditions, allow an excellent correlation between experimental and theoretical protein pIs, to the extent that outliers were found to be polypeptide chains which had undergone post-synthetic modifications. The IPG methodology allows easy interfacing with mass spectrometry, due to the fact that proteins eluted from an IPG gel are isoionic as well as isoelectric, and thus are not contaminated by any buffer ion. The review ends with an excursus on preparative aspects of IPGs: a novel apparatus, based on the principle of isoelectric, buffering membranes, allows pilot-scale purification of r-DNA proteins to extreme purity, with recovery in a liquid vein. Isoelectric membranes have a selectivity based on a continuous titration process, and thus act as isoelectric traps for individual protein species. This same preparative apparatus can be used as a novel immobilized enzyme reactor, with superior performance compared to conventional types of reactors.

PMID:
9126363
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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