Patterns obtained in two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) in the previously published articles suggest a varying number of proteins. To seek the cause of this variation, we investigated the effect of reduction power on the overall tear proteome maps. To this end, the buffers of two reducing agents, dithiothreitol (DTT) at nine different concentrations and di-(2-hydroxyethyl) disulfide (HED), were examined. The assay showed that HED clearly improved 2-DE resolution, increased the number of detectable protein spots, and offered well-resolved chain regions in comparison with those treated with DTT. Furthermore, this study introduced increasing the reduction power as a remedy to increase the reproducibility of two-dimensional human tear proteome maps. In addition, the results of our assessment showed that improved reduction efficiency was accompanied by increased procedure reproducibility from 42% to 89%.
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