Protein production: understanding the workflow from start to finish
In research, the protein production, protein purification and protein analysis workflows are essential to get from idea to pure characterised protein. Achieving results quickly is important to meet pressures to publish as fast as possible.
Over the years, developments have led to simplification and improved usability for different steps in the protein research workflow, which enables individual scientists to cover all or larger parts of it.
This is good news; however, it also allows for less time for training to achieve expertise for the different steps such as gene cloning or protein purification. One person is usually not an expert in all areas, yet many of the procedures used are advanced with numerous conditions influencing the outcomes. There is therefore greater demand today for quick design of protein purification and analysis protocols and assays, ability to learn equipment fast, and easy access of instructions.
5 steps in protein research: gene cloning, cell culture, sample prep, purification and analysis
Before setting up the protocol, set goals and objectives; ask yourself these questions:
- What is the purpose of your research; will the purified protein be used to determine structure or maybe for trial therapeutic use?
- How will the identity and activity of the target be confirmed?
- What analysis methods will be used?
- Are post-translational modifications (PTM), such as glycosylation, needed for protein functionality?
Clear goals will help you to determine what expression system to use and what purity and yield to aim for, so that you get enough sample to conduct multiple analyses.
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