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The 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) technique is widely used for the analysis of complex protein mixtures extracted from biological samples. It is one of the most commonly used analytical techniques in proteomics to study qualitative and quantitative protein changes between different states of a cell or an organism (eg, healthy and diseased), conditionally expressed proteins, posttranslational modifications, and so on. The 2-DE technique is used for its unparalleled ability to separate thousands of proteins simultaneously. The resolution of the proteins by 2-DE largely depends on the quality of sample prepared during protein extraction which increases results in terms of reproducibility and minimizes protein modifications that may result in artifactual spots on 2-DE gels. The buffer used for the extraction and solubilization of proteins influences the quality and reproducibility of the resolution of proteins on 2-DE gel. The purification by cleanup kit is another powerful process to prevent horizontal streaking which occurs during isoelectric focusing due to the presence of contaminants such as salts, lipids, nucleic acids, and detergents. Erythrocyte membrane proteins serve as prototypes for multifunctional proteins in various erythroid and nonerythroid cells. In this study, we therefore optimized the selected major conditions of 2-DE for resolving various proteins of human erythrocyte membrane. The modification included the optimization of conditions for sample preparation, cleanup of protein sample, isoelectric focusing, equilibration, and storage of immobilized pH gradient strips, which were further carefully examined to achieve optimum conditions for improving the quality of protein spots on 2-DE gels. The present improved 2-DE analysis method enabled better detection of protein spots with higher quality and reproducibility. Therefore, the conditions established in this study may be used for the 2-DE analysis of erythrocyte membrane proteins for different diseases, which may help to identify the proteins that may serve as markers for diagnostics as well as targets for development of new therapeutic potential.
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