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J Biochem Biophys Methods. 1985 May;11(1):13-20.

Fast and sensitive detection of protein and DNA bands by treatment with potassium permanganate.


A silver stain technique using treatment with potassium permanganate for visualisation of proteins and DNA separated by gel electrophoresis was developed and applied both to the very thin (thickness 0.1-0.2 mm) and to the usual 1-2 mm thick gels. The technique is reproducible, only stable chemicals are used and it is shortened to about 1 h even for the 1 mm gel (30 min for the 0.2 mm gel). It is applicable to gels thicker than 2 mm with somewhat longer washes. Amounts as low as 2 X 10(-10) g of protein per band have been detected. Protein bands of different colours are obtained. The technique has been used with success in continuous, discontinuous and 2D-gel systems. Bands have been detected which were not observed when the other silver staining techniques were used.

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