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Lab exercise activity sheet ASU BS PG PRACTICAL 4 March 2011

Separation of biomolecules using gel filtration chromatography

Teacher: Student name:

Objective: To learn the separation of biomolecules on the basis of their size by Gel filtration chromatography. Principle: Chromatography is a separation method that relies on differences in partitioning behavior between a flowing mobile phase and a stationary phase to separate the components of a mixture. A column holds the stationary phase and the mobile phase carries the sample. Gel-filtration chromatography, also called size-exclusion or gel-permeation chromatography, separates molecules based on the differences in their size. The sample is applied on top of the column containing porous beads. As the molecules pass through the column of porous beads of crosslinked agarose, they get separated as follows: Large molecules cannot enter the pores and elute as the first peak in the chromatogram. They elute fast and this is called total exclusion. Intermediate molecules may enter the pores and may have an average residence time in the particles depending on their size and shape. Different molecules therefore have different total transit times through the column. This portion of a chromatogram is called the selective permeation region. Small molecules enter the pores and have the longest residence time on the column and elute together as the last peak in the chromatogram. This last peak in the chromatogram is the total permeation limit. (Refer figure 2).

Porous gel bead Smaller molecules retarded by entering pores in beads

Molecules too large to enter pores pass rapidly through column

Fig 1: Schematic Diagram of a Gel Filtration Chromatography Column

Column contains stationary phase

Components collected in different tubes

Molecule Size

Fig 2: Schematic representation of sample separation by gel filtration chromatography

Materials: Follwing materials are required for the exercise a) A mixture of three different biomolecules (coloured) ranging in molecular size from 376 Da to 2000 kDa is used. b) Gel filteration column (2ml) c) Gel filteration buffer d) Sample (0.2 ml each) e) Test tubes, , column stand, micropipette, tips, test tube stand f) Distilled water

Procedure: 1. Fix the column vertically to a stand. 2. Equilibrate the column with 4 ml Gel filtration buffer. Drain out the buffer completely. 3. Load 0.2 ml of the sample onto the column, along the sides of the column. 4. Allow the sample to sink completely and then add 0.2 ml of buffer. 5. Allow the buffer to flow out completely. 6. Keep filling the column with buffer, till all the coloured biomolecules have eluted out. (Approximately 20 ml of buffer is required). 7. Collect the colored fractions in different tubes. (Refer fig 2). 8. Fix the bottom cap and then the top cap to stop the flow of buffer. Store at 4C for next use.

Observation: Note down the order in which various molecules are collected and interpret the results.

Results: The components were observed as follows: First fractionSecond fraction Third fraction Interpretation of results: i. Blue coloured component is blue dextran having a molecular weight of 2,000,000 Da. These are very large molecules that exit fast from the column and are collected as first fraction.

ii. Brownish red coloured component collected as second fraction is haemoglobin having a molecular weight of 64500 Da. These molecules are of intermediate size and they enter the pores but their retention time is low. These molecules take an average time to exit the column. iii Pink coloured component is vitamin B12 having molecular weight of 376 Da. These are very small molecules that enter or permeate the pores of the beads and are retained in the bead for a longer time. They take a long time to exit the column and are collected as third fraction.

Asnswer the following questions Q1. Which molecules were observed as fastest mioving component and why? Q2. Which molecules was collectd as last fraction and why? Q3 Give 4 examples showing application of Gel filteration chromatography. Q4. Can you extract an enzyme using Gel filteration chromatography?