PAGE Alternatives

Hiranya Roychowdhury hroychow at NMSU.EDU
Mon Jul 6 10:45:54 EST 1998

At 10:07 AM 7/6/98 -0400, Martha Ogilvie wrote:
>Hi all!
>I have a Highschool teacher in my lab this summer who is learning to run
>SDS-PAGE and Western Blotting.  She wants to take this back to the
>classroom but because of the potential toxicity of acrylamide, they can't
>use that in the school.  So I wondered if anyone knew of an alternative
>that could work for running a protein on a gel and at least getting to the
>point of staining and destaining with it.  
>Thanks for your help.
>Martha Ogilvie, Ph.D.
>Laboratory of Chemical Biology
>Martha Ogilvie, Ph.D.
>National Institutes of Health
>Phone: 301/496-3510 
>Fax: 301/480-6202

Starch matrix is used for non-denaturing applications but this wouldn't be
showing the resolution that is obtained in SDS-PAGE. Alternatively,
electrochromatography on paper (eg. 3M) may be tried with denatured samples,
using the same buffer system. High percentage, thin agarose gels are also
sometimes used for applications like detecting antigenicity of proteins
(precipitin rxns) and enzyme activities, but I've never come across
denaturing set-ups with agarose. 
        However, if the teacher is careful in handling the acrylamide
(weighing in a fume-hood, polymerizing unused portion completely etc.) and
not let the students touch it with bare hands, the system may be deemed safe
when used once or twice during the entire school year.


Dr. Hiranya Sankar Roychowdhury
Plant Genetic Engineering Lab.
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM 88003
Ph. (505) 646-5785
hroychow at

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