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Protein Biology Learning Center

Learn about protein analysis methods and technologies

Protein biology encompasses both the study of the structure and function of proteins as the primary focus of investigation, and the use of antibodies, proteins, and peptides as tools to purify, detect, and characterize biological systems. Certain methods of protein analysis, such as western blotting and ELISA, have been used routinely in laboratories for many years. Others, such as quantitative protein mass spectrometry, are relatively recent and rapidly developing technologies. New tools and products are continually being developed to advance all aspects of protein biology research.

The purpose of this learning center is to connect scientists (whether new or experienced) to our many resources for learning about protein analysis methods and products.

Protein biology subtopics

Protein Expression

Learn about methods and technologies for cell-based or cell-free protein production, including algal, bacterial, mammalian, insect, and yeast expression systems; and vector systems that are easy to use and deliver high protein yields for every downstream application.

  • Recombinant protein production 
  • Host & vector systems
  • Cell-based vs. cell-free expression
  • Transformation
  • Cell culture
  • Technical handbooks
  • Protein methods articles
  • Product application notes
  • Support center resources
  • Protocols
  • Product selection guides

Protein Isolation and Purification

Learn about methods and technologies for efficient cell lysis, protein extraction and fractionation, targeted inhibition of unwanted protease and phosphatase activity, and convenient devices and high performance resins for the purification and clean-up of proteins and antibodies for downstream applications.

  • Cell lysis
  • Protein extraction
  • Protease & phosphatase inhibitors
  • Dialysis
  • Desalting
  • Sample clean-up
  • Affinity purification
  • Resins, beads, supports
  • Ligand immobilization
  • Immunoprecipitation (IP) 
  • Pull-down
  • Technical handbooks
  • Protein methods articles
  • Product application notes
  • Support center resources
  • Protocols
  • Product selection guides

Protein Gel Electrophoresis

Learn about methods and technologies for separation and analysis of proteins by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). Understand gel types (pouring, precast, gradient, 1D, 2D, etc.), gel and running buffer systems, sample preparation and loading, molecular weight markers (protein ladders), and gel stains.

  • Precast gels
  • Pouring gels
  • Gradient gels
  • Buffer systems
  • Gel tanks
  • Sample loading
  • MW markers & ladders
  • Gel stains
  • Technical handbooks
  • Protein methods articles 
  • Product application notes
  • Support center resources
  • Protocols
  • Product selection guides

Western Blotting

Learn about methods and technologies for western blot detection and imaging. Understand the reagents and instruments used for the efficient membrane transfer and detection of proteins, including wash and blocking buffers, secondary antibody conjugates, and chemiluminescent, colorimetric or fluorescent detection substrates.

  • Tank vs. semi-dry transfer 
  • Blotting membranes
  • Nitrocellulose vs. PVDF
  • Blocking buffers
  • Washing buffers 
  • Detection probes
  • Antibodies
  • Enzymes & substrates
  • Chemiluminescent vs. fluorescent detection
  • Imaging
  • Technical handbooks
  • Protein methods articles
  • Product application notes
  • Support center resources
  • Protocols 
  • Product selection guides

Protein Assays and Analysis

Learn about methods and technologies for identifying and measuring proteins. Understand protein quantitation reagents, ELISA and other immunoassays, protein interaction and activity assays, enzyme reporter assays, protein microarrays, and immunoprecipitation and pull-down tools.

  • BCA, Coomassie dye, & fluorescent protein assays
  • BSA standards
  • A280
  • Immunoprecipitation (IP)
  • Pull-down
  • ELISA 
  • Immunoassays
  • Blocking buffers
  • Multiplex
  • Microarrays
  • Enzyme reporter assays
  • Activity assays 
  • Technical handbooks
  • Protein methods articles
  • Product application notes
  • Support center resources
  • Protocols
  • Product selection guides

Protein Mass Spectrometry

Learn about methods and technologies for peptide and protein analysis by high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC/MS). Understand sample prep tools, mass and isotope labeling strategies for quantitative proteomics, and the basics of MS data and analysis.

  • Proteomics
  • Cell lysis
  • Protein enrichment
  • Trypsin digestion
  • Peptide clean-up
  • C18
  • Sample prep 
  • Isobaric mass tagging
  • Stable isotope labeling
  • Metabolic labeling
  • Tandem mass spec
  • MS/MS
  • LC/MS
  • MALDI
  • Orbitrap
  • Technical handbooks
  • Protein methods articles
  • Product application notes
  • Support center resources
  • Protocols
  • Product selection guides

Protein Modification and Crosslinking

Learn about methods and technologies for protein labeling, modification, and crosslinking. Understand the chemical functional groups and reaction chemistries required to crosslink and conjugate proteins to one another; to label proteins with biotin, PEG, or fluorescent dyes; or to reduce, cleave, and fragment proteins for use in assays.

  • Crosslinking
  • Crosslinker chemistry
  • Conjugation reagents 
  • Bioconjugates
  • Covalent attachment
  • Functional groups
  • Reactive moieties
  • Amino acids 
  • Amines
  • Sulfhydryls
  • Carboxyls
  • NHS esters
  • Maleimides
  • EDC
  • EDAC
  • Molecular probes 
  • Fluorescent dyes
  • Biotinylation
  • PEGylation
  • Technical handbooks
  • Protein methods articles
  • Product application notes
  • Support center resources
  • Protocols
  • Product selection guides

Antibodies and Proteins

Learn about methods and technologies for preparing and using antibodies and recombinant proteins in protein analysis techniques. Understand how specific primary and secondary antibodies are produced, screened, purified, and modified to enable their use in a myriad of protein detection (identification and measurement) applications.

  • Primary antibodies
  • Secondary antibodies
  • Antibody production
  • Immunogen preparation
  • Antibody purification
  • Antibody labeling 
  • Western blotting
  • ELISA
  • Multiplex immunoassays
  • Microarrays
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Technical handbooks 
  • Protein methods articles
  • Product application notes
  • Support center resources
  • Protocols
  • Product selection guides

Protein Biology Resource Library

Browse protein biology learning center content by collection (resource type) — protein methods articles, product application notes, selection guides, webinars, technical handbooks, etc.

Resource library features

Methods article (videos)

Videos that demonstrate each step in the western blot workflow, including SDS-PAGE, transfer, blocking, probing with antibodies, chemiluminescent detection, and stripping the blot.

Methods article

A review of the enzyme-linked immunsorbant assay (ELISA), including formats (sandwich), detection methods (direct, indirect), plate coating techniques, antibodies and other probes, buffers, and kits.

Methods article

Strategies for proteomic analyses, including those for relative quantitation (SILAC, ICAT, ICPL and isobaric tags) and for absolute quantitation (via SRM), and both labeled and label-free techniques.