Imagine – using protein motifs to generate colours after silver staining

NAIT (Edmonton)

Imagine – colour-coded protein bands after silver staining

Team Grade Level: University
STEM Focus:  Synthetic Biology
SDS-PAGE is a very popular technique used to separate proteins based on their size. Seperateing based on size is very important when purifying proteins in industries or seperating viruses in medical applications. Embedded proteins, invisible to the naked eye, are then visualized by staining. Among the various staining techniques, silver staining is easy to perform and highly sensitive. However, the outcome is a series of monochromatic protein bands. Previously, we observed that some proteins inherently produce different hues post-staining. We hypothesized that specific amino acid configurations yield coloured bands after reacting with silver staining reagents. To test our hypothesis, we created numerous amino acid motifs to elucidate the sequences that would generate specific colours following silver staining. Our findings will let us generate a molecular weight marker with the innate capacity of providing users colour-coded bands post-staining without the use of impregnating dyes. Our technology will also pave the way for new types of colorimetric assays using synthetic proteins.

iGEM Medal Achieved: Silver


Posted on

January 17, 2023

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