Staining differences in Ag vs. Coomassie in SDS PAGE

David J. Meyer meyerdj at
Wed Jan 3 14:23:05 EST 2001

The wonderful/accursed thing about proteins is that they are so much more
variable than certain more tractable macromolecules!

No, there is not "general rule" regarding stainability. Not all proteins
stain well with Coomassie: I used to work with one which gave only a faint
purplish stain with CBB R-250, probably as a result of its interacting with
a minor dye species in the preparation. It also stained poorly with silver
(diammine). Another person in the same lab at the time was working with
proteins which stained negatively with silver, but would stain positively if
the whole staining procedure was repeated a second time.

The closest thing to a general rule that I can think of is that heavily
glycosylated proteins or proteins with very biased amino acid compositions
might give you some trouble.

Hope this helps!
David J. Meyer, Ph.D.
Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
7300 NW 62nd Ave
PO Box 1004
Johnston, IA   50131-1004

"Christof Gaenzler" <C.Gaenzler at> wrote in message
news:3A434C66.E9AE011F at
> Is there a general rule which proteins are detected by silver staining
> and NOT with coomassie in a SDS PAGE ?
> Thanks in advance.
> Christof
> ---
> Christof Gaenzler
> Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ)
> EMail: c.gaenzler at

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