Identifying an Unknown Protein in a Sample: An Overview
The identification of an unknown protein in a sample is a process which requires careful consideration and expertise. Depending on the complexity of the sample and the desired outcome, a variety of approaches may be used. In general, the steps may involve quantifying the protein, modifying the sample to make it more amenable to analysis, and analyzing the sample for its chemical and structural properties. The most common approach for quantifying an unknown protein in a sample is mass spectrometry (MS) (Frenz et al., 2016). This technique can be used to collect detailed information about the molecular structure of the protein, which can be used to identify its properties and function. Other techniques such as chromatography, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) can also be used to determine the concentration of the protein (Amara et al., 2018).
Once the sample has been prepared, it can be analyzed for its chemical and structural properties. Depending on the desired outcome, techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy can be used to determine the conformation and secondary structure of the protein (Viel et al., 2019). Additionally, X-ray crystallography can be used to determine the detailed three-dimensional structure of the protein (Krause et al., 2021). Cont…
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