How to show that the proteins are really labeled?

Phil Calvert calvert at eos.ncsu.edu
Mon Jul 28 20:10:31 EST 1997


Please excuse me if these sound like stupid questions; I don't normally do
this kind of work.

We have fed a radiolabeled polymer to some bacteria and then did an
extraction/fractionation on the culture.  One of the fractions is a phenol
solution that supposedly contains proteins.

What we want to know is whether the bacteria incorporated any of the
radiolabel into their proteins.  The extract contains 5564 dpm/ml of C-14,
so there is a good chance that there is labeled protein in there.  However,
how can we be sure that the counts are coming from protein and not from
something else?  Is there a simple procedure for getting pure protein out
of the phenol extract?  We don't care which proteins are labeled so,
obviously, anything that separates the proteins from each other would be
overkill.  Any ideas?

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