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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 19 (2014) pp 171-174

Isolation, Characterization and Utilization of Horseradish Peroxidase:  A Multiweek Undergraduate Biochemistry Laboratory

Kathryn Mansfield Matera

Department of Chemistry, Elon University, Elon, NC, 27516,
Received February 17, 2014. Accepted May 13, 2014.

Published: 6 June 2014

Abstract. Few published undergraduate biochemistry experiments give students a realistic research experience, in which multiple experimental methods are possible to reach an objective, and in which the results are not necessarily predictable. In fact, many available labs are written as individual experiments in which students follow cookbook type instructions to achieve a particular outcome and/or learn a specific technique. The inquiry-based multiweek series of labs described here is based on the isolation, characterization and utilization of horseradish peroxidase (HRP), an enzyme used in multiple research applications, from horseradish root. These experiments are versatile and therefore allow students the ability to choose the direction of their inquiry, based on literature searches and existing protocols. The interconnected labs expose students to a research experience similar to what they will find in a real world lab setting; the flexible methodology ranges from well documented protocols found in the literature, to the development of procedures for experiments not published. This approach to an undergraduate lab experience affords students the chance to be involved in the design and implementation of their own lab protocols. After completion of the series of labs, students will better understand the mechanics of biochemical research, and in the process, will become familiar with an enzyme that has numerous research uses.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; biochemistry; laboratory instruction; inquiry-based learning; UV-Vis spectroscopy; chromatography; electrophoresis; enzymes

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (412 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Lists of reagents and equipment, general experimental procedures, instructor notes, and editable student handout are available (312 KB).

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