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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

In-gel precipitation of enzymatically released phosphate.

The phosphate precipitation reaction using ammonium molybdate and triethylamine under low pH has been applied to gel-based assays for detecting phosphate-releasing enzymes. The sensitivity of the assay is 10 pmol Pi/mm2 of 1.5-mm-thick gel. The assay is applicable to enzymes with a wide range of optimal pH, from acid (pH 4.5) to alkaline phosphatase (pH 9.7), and to enzymes that use acid-labile substrates such as apyrase and glutamine synthetase. Using a negative staining approach, maltose phosphorylase, a phosphate-consuming enzyme, can also be detected. The assay was used to detect glutamine synthetase isoforms, separated by nondenaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis from crude maize extracts. For downstream applications such as staining gels for proteins, the gels with precipitate should be incubated in 10 mM dithiothreitol or beta-mercaptoethanol until the precipitate is dissolved and then thoroughly washed in water. In comparison to calcium phosphate precipitation or the phosphomolybdate-malachite green method, this method is more sensitive. It is a very simple, rapid, versatile, reproducible, and inexpensive method that could be a useful tool in enzymological studies.[1]


  1. In-gel precipitation of enzymatically released phosphate. Simonović, A.D., Gaddameedhi, S., Anderson, M.D. Anal. Biochem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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