We have devised a nondenaturing vertical isoelectric focusing (IEF)-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) system which is amenable to silver staining and electroblotting. Apart from being accessible, inexpensive, and simple to use, this new methodology overcomes problems inherent in current IEF methods, for example, pH gradient drift, nonuniform cooling, restricted sample volume, and inability to perform electroblotting. Two photopolymerization gel formulas were derived: a 5% acrylamide formula using bisacrylamide (Bis) as the crosslinker and a 6% acrylamide formula using diallyltartdiamide (DATD) as the crosslinker. The 5% acrylamide Bis gel gave excellent resolution and separation of proteins whereas the 6% acrylamide DATD gel expanded slightly during silver staining, resulting in mild band distortions. At least 80 ng of protein per band could be detected by the silver staining protocol devised. Both the DATD and the Bis gels were suitable for electroblot transfer. Parameters to ensure the optimum conditions for reproducible, high resolution vertical IEF-PAGE are described. IEF-PAGE silver staining and electroblotting procedures and silver staining of the nitrocellulose electroblot procedures are also described. The advantages of this methodology over previously published methods are discussed.
- silver staining
- vertical isoelectric focusing