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PurifyIt!

Allen Place and Tom Schmidt (Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute)
Screen Shots | System Requirements

PurifyIt! allows you to experience the art of protein purification and characterization through discovery. The program generates a mixture of proteins whose composition and quantity can be defined or unknown. Your objective is to design a purification strategy which provides a pure preparation of the protein with the highest yield using all the tools available to a biochemist.

Instead of being given operations and their results as in a textbook, you specify the operations and the order of their application. Success in obtaining a pure protein depends on your understanding of the experimental procedures and on the logic you use in executing those procedures. Operations available range from simple salt precipitation to ion exchange chromatography. The program mimics laboratory situations (with errors and ambiguities) and places limits on the amount of protein available for analysis and purification.

A PurifyIt! problem starts with a vial containing a specified amount of an unknown protein mixture. As you perform your experiments, the Mixture Information Window can be used to collect all the information you have gathered.

PurifyIt! provides many of tools for the analysis and purification of your protein mixture. The figure below shows a window representing an SDS-gel electrophoresis setup designed to obtain subunit molecular weight estimates for all proteins in the mixture. In this window the gel has been run, stained, and destained. Each band represents a discrete denatured polypeptide. The intensity of each band is proportional to amount of that polypeptide chain in the original mixture and the position on the gel relative to the dye front is proportional to the logarithm of its molecular weight.

 

 

Screen Shots

Mixture Information window showing that an SDS-PAGE has been performed on the original mixture.

The position of each protein band in the two outside lanes (our standard proteins) can now be plotted on the graph to the right of the gel, a "least squares best fit" line drawn on the graph, and a subunit molecular estimate for each protein band can be determined.

 

System Requirements

Macintosh or Power Macintosh

  • System 6.07 or later; System 7.1 or later for PowerMacintosh.
  • At least 800K of available random access memory (RAM), more for complex simulations.


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