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J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2007 Apr 15;849(1-2):211-22. Epub 2006 Dec 1.

Disease proteomics of high-molecular-mass proteins by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis with agarose gels in the first dimension (Agarose 2-DE).

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  • 1Laboratory of Biomolecular Dynamics, Department of Physics, Kitasato University School of Science, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 228-8555, Japan.


Agarose gel is the preferred electrophoretic medium currently used for separating high molecular mass (HMM) proteins (MW>100 kDa). Agarose gels are widely used for both SDS-agarose gel electrophoresis and agarose isoelectric focusing (IEF). A two-dimensional gel electrophoresis method employing agarose gels in the first dimension (agarose 2-DE) that is sufficiently good at separating up to 1.5mg of HMM proteins with molecular masses as large as 500 kDa has been used to separate proteins from various diseased tissues and cells. Although resolution of the agarose 2-DE pattern always depends on the tissue being analyzed, sample preparation procedures including (i) protein extraction with an SDS sample buffer; (ii) ultracentrifugation of a tissue homogenate; and (iii) 1% SDS in both stacking and separation gels of the second-dimension SDS-PAGE gel, are generally effective for HMM protein detection. In a comprehensive prostate cancer proteome study using agarose 2-DE, the HMM region of the gel was rich in proteins of particular gene/protein expression groups (39.1% of the HMM proteins but only 28.4% of the LMM ones were classified as transcription/translation-related proteins). Examples include transcription factors, DNA or RNA binding proteins, and ribosomal proteins. To understand oxidative stress-induced cellular damage at the protein level, a novel proteomic method, in which protein carbonyls were derivatized with biotin hydrazide followed by agarose 2-DE, was useful for detecting HMM protein carbonyls in tissues of both a diabetes model Ostuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rat and a control Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) rat. In this paper, we review the use of agarose gels for separation of HMM proteins and disease proteomics of HMM proteins in general, with particular attention paid to our proteome analyzes based on the use of agarose 2-DE for protein separation followed by the use of mass spectrometry for protein identification.

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