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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2007 Oct;389(4):1033-45. Epub 2007 Aug 7.

Two-dimensional electrophoresis of membrane proteins.

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GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Human Genetics, Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1, 85764, Munich-Neuherberg, Germany.


One third of all genes of various organisms encode membrane proteins, emphasizing their crucial cellular role. However, due to their high hydrophobicity, membrane proteins demonstrate low solubility and a high tendency for aggregation. Indeed, conventional two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE), a powerful electrophoretic method for the separation of complex protein samples that applies isoelectric focusing (IEF) in the first dimension and sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) in the second dimension, has a strong bias against membrane proteins. This review describes two-dimensional electrophoretic techniques that can be used to separate membrane proteins. Alternative methods for performing conventional 2-DE are highlighted; these involve replacing the IEF with electrophoresis using cationic detergents, namely 16-benzyldimethyl-n-hexadecylammonium chloride (16-BAC) and cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB), or the anionic detergent SDS. Finally, the separation of native membrane protein complexes through the application of blue and clear native gel electrophoresis (BN/CN-PAGE) is reviewed, as well as the free-flow electrophoresis (FFE) of membranes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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