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J Biomol Tech. 2013 Dec;24(4):218-23. doi: 10.7171/jbt.13-2404-002.

Comparison of protein-extraction methods for gills of the shore crab, Carcinus maenas (L.), and application to 2DE.

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Laboratory of Ecotoxicology-Aquatic Environments, LEMA, EA 3222, and.


As it is well-established that protein extraction constitutes a crucial step for two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE), this work was done as a prerequisite to further the study of alterations in the proteome in gills of the shore crab Carcinus maenas under contrasted environmental conditions. Because of the presence of a chitin layer, shore crab gills have an unusual structure. Consequently, they are considered as a hard tissue and represent a challenge for optimal protein extraction. In this study, we compared three published extraction procedures for subsequent applications to 2DE: the first one uses homogenization process, the second one included an additional TCA-acetone precipitation step, and finally, the third one associated grinding in liquid nitrogen (N2) and TCA-acetone precipitation. Extracted proteins were then resolved using 1DE and 2DE. Although interesting patterns were obtained using 1DE with the three methods, only the one involving grinding in liquid N2 and TCA-acetone precipitation led to proper resolution after 2DE, showing a good level of reproducibility at technical (85%) and biological (84%) levels. This last method is therefore proposed for analysis of gill proteomes in the shore crab.


2D gel electrophoresis; chitin; crustacean; hard tissue

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