High school protein purification lab

D.K. dk at no.email.thankstospam.net
Wed Oct 16 22:02:56 EST 2002

jculp at egreen.wednet.edu wrote:
>Hello everyone,
>I am looking for a new protein purification lab for my high school students. 
> Our equipment and supplies are limited.  We have a couple of specs and ability
> to do chromatography.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I understand that
> this is very general question.  Please let me know if you have any thoughts on
> this.

On top of colored stuff suggested I have the following (also hemoglobin but 
purifying anything from blood of any type might not be PC in high school?):

Lysozyme from eggs. Crystallization directly from whites is easy as pie and 
does not require chromatography. If inclusion of chromatography is desired, 
either gel-filtration (can be done with crushed and sized agarose) or ion exchange
(CM cellulose is inexpensive) or hydroxylapatite (extremely easy and cheap
to make) can be used to get truly ~99% pure protein. 

Casein and/or ovalubumin from non-fat dry milk. Not only easy and cheap
but also goes long way in educational value (things about bacteria/cheese/yeasts,
etc flow naturally). 

"Purifying" actin to an extent that you can demonstrate polymerization 
is quite feasible too: meat/salts/acetone and a bit of ATP is all it takes. 

A wild case of affinity chromatography can be made by purifying chitin-binding 
lectins on a column made from boilde, dried and grinded crab shells. 

It's hard to be more specific at this point. Perhaps you can search for 
the web for "amateur science", +"home lab" +protein +purification, etc. 
At least some hits are bound to be good. I know I've seen some designs
of microcentrifuge out of kitchen mixer and 37C incubator out of 
pet store heater with termocouple. 


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