I think that the absolute value of protein concentration is not very important. Some proteins get crystallized at 1 mg/ml, others at 50. What is important is to be able to reproducibly estimate it from prep to prep. You probably want to start at some reasonable value of about 10 mg/ml. If it in reality is 12.5 I don't personally care. If I publish the result and someone repeats and doesn't get crystal at exactly same concentration I don't care either because that person is not taking sensible approach.
Vaheh ________________________________ From: CCP4 bulletin board [mailto:CCP4BB@JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On Behalf Of Machius, Mischa Christian Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2011 7:23 PM To: CCP4BB@JISCMAIL.AC.UK Subject: Re: [ccp4bb] Nanodrop versus Nanophotomter Pearl versus good old Bradford. With respect to the Edelhoch method and the ProtParam server, I would strongly recommend determining extinction coefficients experimentally and not rely on the ProtParam values. The reason is that the underlying extinction coefficients in the formula used by ProtParam and referenced there are statistical averages. They may or may not be valid for a given protein. I have seen differences of more than 20% between the "theoretical" and "experimental" extinction coefficients, particularly for proteins with few Trp and Tyr residues. When relying on relative concentrations, this inaccuracy is not detrimental, but when absolute concentrations are needed (CD, AUC, ITC, any binding experiment, etc.), such a difference would be considered huge. Determining an extinction coefficient experimentally takes but a few minutes. Cheers! MM On Jun 16, 2011, at 6:22 PM, Petr Leiman wrote: Totally support the statements below. We have had several proteins with A280 absorbance of 0.1 or less (at 1 mg/ml). You _have_ to use Bradford in the Nanodrop or whatnot to measure the concentration. Before purchasing the Nanodrop we used a Hellma TrayCell and a "normal" UV/Vis instrument. Similar to the Nanodrop, the sample volume in TrayCell is 2-3 ul. Traycell works well at a fraction of the Nanodrop cost, but Nanodrop is a lot more convenient to use for high concentration quick measurements (especially if you need to measure several things in succession), so you get what you pay for. Petr P.S. Expasy's Protparam tool has been around for ages (10-12+ years?). That plus the Nanodrop are two essential and synergetic tools of a protein chemist/crystallographer. On Jun 16, 2011, at 10:31 PM, Edward A. Berry wrote: Bradford is an assay, Nanodrop is a spectrophotometer. Both the A280 and Bradford methods are strongly dependent on amino acid composition, so unless you correct A280 for that as mentioned by Filip, either one is semiquantitative. Occasionally you come across a protein with no tryptophan which will have a much lower extinction coefficient. Try making a 1 g/l solution of gelatin (collagen?) and see what its A280 is! I noticed recently the "protparam" tool at http://ca.expasy.org/cgi-bin/protparam estimates the extinction coefficient given a sequence. David Briggs wrote: ~~~ I wouldn't touch Bradford with a barge-pole. I've found it to be wildly inaccurate for certain proteins I've handled, where as the OD280 measurements have been fine. One wonders what does "fine" mean, like same as with Biuret or Kjeldahl nitrogen, or solution made up by weight? ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Mischa Machius, PhD Director, Center for Structural Biology Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Pharmacology Member, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center University of North Carolina 4079 Genetic Medicine CB#7365 120 Mason Farm Road Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7365, U.S.A. tel: +1-919-843-4485 fax: +1-919-966-5640 email: mach...@unc.edu<mailto:mach...@med.unc.edu> To the extent this electronic communication or any of its attachments contain information that is not in the public domain, such information is considered by MedImmune to be confidential and proprietary. This communication is expected to be read and/or used only by the individual(s) for whom it is intended. If you have received this electronic communication in error, please reply to the sender advising of the error in transmission and delete the original message and any accompanying documents from your system immediately, without copying, reviewing or otherwise using them for any purpose. Thank you for your cooperation.