A multiple mini two-dimensional electrophoretic method which results in three two-dimensional protein spot patterns being positioned side by side in an individual gel has been developed. Preparation time has been minimized by employing disposable capillary tubes for the isoelectric focusing gels and reducing the number of second-dimensional gels required. Commercially available vertical slab units were used for the second-dimensional electrophoresis. The protein spot patterns were visualized either by staining the second-dimensional gel with silver or fluorescently labeling the focused proteins while present in the isoelectric focusing gel and subsequently electrophoresing them into the second-dimensional gel. The fluorescently labeled second-dimensional gel was imaged while still present in the glass mold immediately following electrophoresis. Two fluorophores were compared: 2-methoxy-2,4-diphenyl-3(2H)-furanone and 5-(4,6-dichlorotriazin-2-yl)aminofluorescein hydrochloride. A rapid imaging system based on a cooled charge-coupled device was used to view both the silver-stained and fluorescently labeled two-dimensional spot patterns. The sensitivity of detection of protein spots in the mini two-dimensional gels was similar for the two types of fluorescently labeled gels and the silver-stained gels. © 1991.
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