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

Optimised two-dimensional electrophoresis procedures for the protein characterisation of structural tissues.

The protein analysis of structural tissues is typically highly problematic. Amniotic membrane displays unique wound healing and anti-scarring properties; however, little is known concerning its active protein content. The structural nature of amniotic membrane necessitated development and extensive optimisation of the entire two-dimensional (2-D) workflow. Proteins were extracted using powerful solubilisation buffers and analysis carried out using 2-D electrophoresis followed by mass spectrometry (MS) identification. Preservation and processing resulted in prefractionation of soluble from structural and membrane-associated proteins. Enhanced protein solubility was achieved by cysteine blocking using both N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMA) alkylation and bis(2-hydroxyethyl) disulphide (HED); an alternative procedure for the effective application of HED is demonstrated. The benefits of precipitation and cup-loading versus in-gel rehydration were also assessed, with procedures for the employment of HED with the latter described. Following optimisation, a representative sample 21 proteins were identified from amniotic membrane using MS verify procedures were MS-compatible. Our results demonstrate that techniques for the reproducible separation of proteins from a proteinaceous structural tissue have been optimised. Briefly, proteins are extracted using a thiourea/urea extraction buffer containing carrier ampholytes, dithiothreitol (DTT), and 3-(cyclohexylamino)-1-propanesulfonic acid (CHAPS). After DMA alkylation, proteins were precipitated (using the 2-D clean-up kit from Amersham Biosciences) and resolubilised in extraction buffer containing a lower concentration of DTT. Samples were either cup-loaded onto rehydrated HED-containing strips or rebuffered into HED-containing buffer followed by in-gel rehydration.[1]


  1. Optimised two-dimensional electrophoresis procedures for the protein characterisation of structural tissues. Hopkinson, A., McIntosh, R.S., Layfield, R., Keyte, J., Dua, H.S., Tighe, P.J. Proteomics (2005) [Pubmed]
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