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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 18 (2013) pp 107-109
DOI 10.1007/s00897132482

Identification of Unknown Proteins Using Three Forms of Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis: A Laboratory Experiment

Rosa V. Flores* and Sherla Centeno

Department of Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, San Juan, PR 00931-3346, rosa@hpcf.upr.edu
Received June 19, 2012. Accepted April 24, 2013.

Published: 17 May 2013

Abstract. A laboratory experiment involving a comparison between various forms of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (native, reducing and non-reducing sodium dodecyl sulfate) was performed in an undergraduate biochemistry laboratory. Students executed one form of electrophoresis, and analyzed the same seven unknown samples using both fixed (10%) and gradient (4–20%) polyacrylamide gels. Based on the key protein properties of sixteen unknowns, together with the combined student results and focus questions that guided interpretation of gel data, students identified the unknown protein samples and gained valuable experience on each form of electrophoresis, while contrasting fixed and gradient polyacrylamide gel separations.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; biochemistry; polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; proteins; Native-PAGE; Reducing SDS-PAGE; Non-reducing SDS-PAGE; experimental learning

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: rosa@hpcf.upr.edu )

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