Structural Biochemistry/Cellulose Acetate Electrophoresis

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Cellulose acetate electrophoresis utilizes native protein charge to separate proteins based on their isoelectric point.

How it Works[edit]

A sample protein is dotted on the marked center of a cellulose acetate strip and the strip is placed in barbital buffer of a desired pH and voltage is applied across the strip. The proteins that migrate towards the anode have a pI greater than the pH of the buffer while proteins that migrate towards the cathode have a pI less than the pH of the buffer. Positively charged proteins migrate towards the cathode while negatively charged proteins migrate toward the anode.


Cellulose acetate electrophoresis can be useful in identifying multimeric proteins formed by different isoforms since each ratio of isoforms will have a different charge due to the different amino acid structure.