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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2003 (2003), Issue 4, Pages 249-255
Research article

Selective Enrichment of Membrane Proteins by Partition Phase Separation for Proteomic Studies

Perbio Science, Bioresearch Division, 2202 N Bartlett Avenue, Milwaukee 53202-1009, WI, USA

Received 14 June 2002; Accepted 18 December 2002

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The human proteome project will demand faster, easier, and more reliable methods to isolate and purify protein targets. Membrane proteins are the most valuable group of proteins since they are the target for 70–80% of all drugs. Perbio Science has developed a protocol for the quick, easy, and reproducible isolation of integral membrane proteins from eukaryotic cells. This procedure utilizes a proprietary formulation to facilitate cell membrane disruption in a mild, nondenaturing environment and efficiently solubilizes membrane proteins. The technique utilizes a two-phase partitioning system that enables the class separation of hydrophobic and hydrophilic proteins. A variety of protein markers were used to investigate the partitioning efficiency of the membrane protein extraction reagents (Mem-PER) (Mem-PER is a registered trademark of Pierce Biotechnology, Inc) system. These included membrane proteins with one or more transmembrane spanning domains as well as peripheral and cytosolic proteins. Based on densitometry analyses of our Western blots, we obtained excellent solubilization of membrane proteins with less than 10% contamination of the hydrophobic fraction with hydrophilic proteins. Compared to other methodologies for membrane protein solubilization that use time-consuming protocols or expensive and cumbersome instrumentation, the Mem-PER reagents system for eukaryotic membrane protein extraction offers an easy, efficient, and reproducible method to isolate membrane proteins from mammalian and yeast cells.