Physical Characterization of the Protein Molecule

  • Ken E. Van Holde
Part of the Molecular Biology Biochemistry and Biophysics book series (MOLECULAR, volume 8)


Before any protein can be considered for sequence analysis, there are certain fundamental questions about it that must be answered. These include, in a reasonable order of inquiry:
  1. 1.

    Is the Protein Preparation Pure? There is no sense in expending the time and effort required by sequence analysis on proteins that contain appreciable amounts of other, contaminating proteins. This is a minimal requirement.

  2. 2.

    About How Large Is the Active Protein Molecule? The kind of information required here is a semiquantitative estimate. This information is primarily of importance (to the sequencer) with respect to the next questions.

  3. 3.

    How Matry Polypeptide Chains Does the Functional Protein Contain? How Large Are They? Are They Identical? These questions are of greatest importance, for together with [4], they define the magnitude of the sequencing task. If one is fortunate, and there is only one kind of polypeptide chain in the protein, it is still important to have a very good idea of the chain weight and, hence, the approximate number of residues to be expected.

  4. 4.

    If the Chains Are Not Identical, How Many Kinds Are There, and How Can They Be Separated? If it is found that the active protein consists of two or more distinct kinds of polypeptide chains, it will be necessary to find ways of effecting dissociation and preparative separation. Each then becomes a separate sequencing problem.



Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate Protein Molecule Polypeptide Chain Sedimentation Velocity Physical Characterization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ken E. Van Holde

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