Analytical biochemistry

Postcolumn detection of serum proteins with the biuret and Lowry reactions.

PMID 6476367


The Lowry and biuret reactions have been adapted for the selective detection of chromatographically resolved proteins, specifically proteins separated by high-performance liquid chromatography. The protein reagents are continuously added to the column effluent and produce the characteristic chromophores with both proteins and peptides. The reaction chemistries are compatible with ion-exchange, steric exclusion, and reverse-phase chromatography. Detection limits for proteins resolved by ion-exchange are about 5 to 10 micrograms with the Lowry reaction. Peptides containing tyrosine can be detected at the 100-ng level when chromatographed on reverse-phase columns. The biuret reaction is about 8 times less sensitive for proteins and not very effective for peptides. Reaction detection can be combined with direct absorbance detection in the uv to distinguish proteinaceous peaks from other peaks containing uv-absorbing compounds.