A Quick Guide to Magnetic Bead Extraction for Protein Isolation

Magnetic bead extraction is one of the main methods researchers can use to uncover new antigens or weak protein complexes. In diagnostic and virology labs, rapid and quantitative recovery of antigens or protein-protein interactions help develop new therapies and medicines.

Depending on the target nucleic acids involved in your extraction workflow, immunoprecipitation (IP) or co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) immunoassays may be required. For magnetic bead extraction of antigens, IP allows an antibody to form an immune complex with the target protein.

With Co-IP, capturing the entire protein complex is possible using native interactions. It helps the medical community study new binding partners, the kinetics of different bindings, and the target protein’s binding affinities.

Exclusion-Based Sample Preparation Using Magnetic Bead Extraction

Protein-protein interactions are vital to understanding how cells signal different protein mechanisms and help to identify new drug targets.

Weak interacting protein complexes are challenging to study, requiring a workflow that reduces complexity and ensures repeatability. Magnetic bead extraction allows for greater specificity than other exclusion-based sample preparation techniques.

Complex Binding Separation using Magnetic Bead Extraction

In complex Co-IP workflows, the lysis and homogenization of samples are vital steps to ensuring accurate, reproducible results. Degradable samples, like nucleic acids and proteins, require suitable inhibitors. To reduce background signals in degraded samples, performing experimental steps on ice will keep target proteins intact.

You may also want to concentrate low abundance targets with concentration columns, dialysis, or re-elution for smaller volume samples. In general, using magnetic bead extraction for complex protein separation requires four main workflow steps, including lysis, absorption, followed by washing, and then elution. The target protein involved will define the type of bead specificity and binding capacity required in the workflow.

Helping Researchers Advance Cancer Treatments by Identifying Weak Protein Interactions

Protein-protein interactions play an ever important role in oncogenesis. In this video, Dr. Richard Burgess, Professor Emeritus of Oncology at the University of Wisconsin, discusses approaches to characterize weak protein interactions that are targeted by cancer researchers.

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Agarose Resin versus Magnetic Bead Extraction for Co-IP Workflows

Agarose resins were standard in older affinity-based purification techniques, but they are now less common in IP and Co-IP procedures. Besides being easy to use, thus helping to reduce lab errors, magnetic beads provide multiple benefits for immunoprecipitation procedures, including:

  • Allows changing the ionic binding strength for lower non-specific binding
  • Remains compatible with automation to increase efficiency and productivity in the laboratory

Considerations for IP/Co-IP and Antibody Contamination

Co-precipitation with the target is a common problem in both IP and Co-IP approaches. A/G-coated beads or covalently binding the antibody directly to a treated bead can help address issues with co-eluted antibodies.

You may also want to perform Co-IP for non-target antibodies (also called “irrelevant antibodies”) to ensure your protein isolation workflow accuracy. As specificity depends on the subclass, control antibodies should match the primary protein’s antibody as close as possible.

Weak interacting protein complexes are challenging to study, requiring a workflow that reduces complexity and ensures repeatability. Magnetic bead extraction allows for greater specificity than other exclusion-based sample preparation techniques.

Platforms Available for Automating Magnetic Bead Extraction and Protein Isolation

The EXTRACTMAN® Magnetic Bead Extraction Platform supports rapid Co-IP workflows for a faster, gentler approach to isolating your target proteins. Ideal for isolating weakly bound protein complexes and conducting parallel isolations, it provides greater reproducibility and accuracy.

Benefits of the EXTRACTMAN Magnetic Bead Extraction Platform

Unlike conventional “bind-wash-elute” magnetic beads methods, EXTRACTMAN streamlines the isolation process by using surface tension and hydrophobicity to exclude any unbound contaminants from the paramagnetic particle (PMP)-bound target biomolecule. By simply passing PMP-bound molecules through aqueous/air interfaces, with this revolutionary ESPTM slide-based extraction, EXTRACTMAN performs the binding, washing, and elution steps in just five seconds each. By reducing the lengthy exposure to pro-disassociating wash buffers and inconsistent column-based Co-IP, EXTRACTMAN enables high-yield, high purity isolations without labor-intensive washing steps.

Sample Extraction and Protein Isolation with Gilson

Gilson is committed to developing new extraction solutions that help improve your lab’s efficiency. With our EXTRACTMAN platform, you can perform rapid Co-IP isolation with just the slide of a handle. With multiple parallel samples and ESP™ magnetic bead technology, purifying is much faster than resin and column-based workflows.

Whatever your target proteins are, using EXTRACTMAN can speed up isolation workflows by up to nine-fold. It can also produce similar yields when compared to tube-based isolation techniques without any cross-contamination between samples. When researching complex protein mechanisms, the EXTRACTMAN magnetic bead extraction platform can improve your current workflows without compromising your results.

To find out how we can help improve your protein isolation techniques and how our magnetic bead extraction platform can help, get in touch with Gilson today.

Identifying Weak Proteins Interactions

EXTRACTMAN®, an innovative magnetic bead extraction platform, offers a faster and gentler approach to isolating target proteins from a variety of samples.

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