Nature protocols

Identification of enzymes and activity from two-dimensional gel electrophoresis.

PMID 17947972


Identification of proteins with enzymatic activity by mass spectrometry (MS) and concomitant determination of function by screening enzyme activity from two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) is one of the challenges of gel-based proteomics. In this protocol, proteins are extracted from spinal cord tissue followed by 2DE with in-gel digestion and identification by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization. Protein spots identified as possible enzyme of interest are punched, eluted by SDS-containing Tris buffer and renatured by buffers under reductive conditions. Enzyme activity is determined using micromethods. Within about 4 weeks, a structural and functional map can be generated and MS identification can be validated, complementing immunochemical methods. 2DE separation can be seen as a prepurification step and therefore allows activity assays from minute amounts of protein as provided in a 2DE gel spot; the method may be an alternative to the time-consuming use of recombinant enzyme techniques.