Linear acrylamide (was --Re: glycogen as a carrier)

Paul N Hengen pnh at
Mon Apr 22 11:19:33 EST 1996

Suzy Paalman (suzy at wrote:

| Abolutely right.  It always surprises me to see these very old and
| classical procedures listed.  We used to make acrylamide carrier by
| polymerizing some acyramide (3-5%).  We then take a needle and homogenize
| the polymerized acrylamide.  It is then spun down to get rid of the big
| insoluble fragments.  The sup should contain sheared linear polymerized
| acrylamide which precipitates in ethanol.

: Alternatively, you can buy linear polyacrylamide (I've found it at Sigma). 
: This is definitely a great carrier, better than others that I've tried
: (glycogen and tRNA for instance).  

This seems to be a hot topic on the methods group as well as being market
jockey'd by the biotech companies. Flipping through the latest BioTechniques,
I see several ads for these types of reagents. For example, Amicon claims
99% recovery of DNA using a Micron microconcentrator without precipitation,
Supelco advertise GenElute[TM]-LPA (Linear Polyacrylamide? 5mg/ml) as a
better co-precipitant than glycogen or tRNA, LigoChem, Inc. are selling
ProCipitate[TM], a non-toxic polymer bridging network for removal of proteins
from DNA samples, and my favorite "Pretty in Pink" is the Pellet Paint[TM]
co-precipitant from Novagen, which presumably is a colorific moiety bound
to acrylamide or glycogen(?) which allows you to see a nice pink pellet of
DNA so you don't end up washing it out of the tube and down the sink - like
I've done so many times ;-) We also have something called Qwik-Precip that
comes from Paragon, Baltimore, Md. which I think is glycogen as the carrier.
Have I missed any?

I'm interested in reviewing this topic for the next TIBS column and to be
included in the FAQ list for this group. If you have any recipes, results,
drawbacks, bad experiences, comments, or think I've missed your favorite
method above, please send me your input. Also, if you have ANY references
to using carriers for the prcipitation of DNA samples, I'd be very interested
in looking them up and including them. Thanks!

* Paul N. Hengen, Ph.D.                           /--------------------------/*
* National Cancer Institute                       |Internet: pnh at |*
* Laboratory of Mathematical Biology              |   Phone: (301) 846-5581  |*
* Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center|     FAX: (301) 846-5598  |*
* Frederick, Maryland 21702-1201 USA              /--------------------------/*
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