Protein Purification Methods Based on Net Charge

The two techniques that exploit the overall charge of proteins are ion-exchange chromatography (by far the most important) and electrophoresis. Ion exchangers bind charged molecules, and there are essentially only two types of ion exchangers, anion and cation. The net charge of a protein depends on the pH—positive at very low pH, negative at high pH, and zero at some specific point in between, termed the isoelectric point (pI). It should be stressed that at the pI a protein has a great many charges; it just happens that at this pH the total negatives exactly equal the total positives. The most charged state (disregarding the charge sign) is in the pH range 6.0 to 9.0. This is the most stable pH range for most proteins, as it encompasses common physiological pH values. Ion exchangers consist of immobilized charged groups and attract oppositely charged proteins. They provide the mode of separation that has the highest resolution for native proteins. High-performance reversed phase chromatography has equivalent or even better resolution, but it generally involves at least partial denaturation during adsorption and so is not recommended for sensitive proteins such as enzymes. Protein purification using ion-exchange chromatography has mainly employed positively charged anion exchangers, for the simple reason that the majority of proteins at neutral pH are negatively charged (i.e., have a low isoelectric point). Details of methodology are found in following.


Source from protein purification company