SDS-PAGE - Dimer formation after boiling?

Dr Engelbert Buxbaum engelbert_buxbaum at
Tue Oct 10 05:33:50 EST 2006

Bean Long wrote:

> Hi all,
> I seem to have a protein forming a dimer on SDS-PAGE after boiling.  I 
> usually pre-treat my samples to 70 °C for a few minutes prior to loading 
> and seem to end up with both monomers and dimers, but on boiling I seem 
> to get dimer formation only.  Is this common? 

In addition to the other comments you could also try to reduce the
protein with tris-(2-carboxyethyl)-phosphine (TCEP) instead of DTT or
bME. The reaction is irreversible, in addition TCEP is odourless. But
usually gentle heating (try 37 degrees) does the trick.

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