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Electrophoresis. 1997 Dec;18(14):2573-81.

Preparative two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of membrane proteins.

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Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Austria.


Electrophoretic techniques, and especially two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE), have provided an indispensable set of tools for the separation of complex protein mixtures as well as for the identification of protein-protein interactions. Nevertheless, after its introduction more than twenty years ago and even with recent technical developments, the separation of integral and peripheral membrane proteins, in amounts sufficient for microsequencing, is still a difficult task. Lipids present in the membrane as well as the low solubility of hydrophobic membrane proteins result in protein aggregation both on the sample application point and on isoelectric focusing. As a consequence many proteins do not enter the first or second dimension of 2-DE. Here we describe the modification of a protocol using a combination of 3-[(3-cholamidopropyl)-dimethylammonio]-1-propane sulfonate (CHAPS), chaotropic agents (thiourea, urea), Tris base and reducing agents (1,4-dithioerythritol) to improve solubilization of integral and peripheral membrane proteins. Preparative amounts of membrane proteins (up to 2 mg) were loaded during reswelling of dry immobilized pH gradients and the resulting Coomassie staining patterns were largely superimposable with silver-stained gels obtained from identical samples (4 microg). This indicates that the recovery of proteins from the sample is not significantly compromised by the scale-up procedure. A direct application of this method for the characterization and identification of membrane proteins from cellular organelles is described in another paper in this issue (I. Fialka et al., Electrophoresis 1997, 18, 2582-2590).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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