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The pitfalls of Membrane Preps - (Jan/26/2013 )

Hello everybody,

I'm here to ask a simple question: I want to study the binding properties of a protein at the plasma membrane and I was considering using different membrane preps for this purpose. The different preps would contain varying concentrations of certain membrane constituents.

Can anybody give me some advantages and disadvantages of using membrane preps vs. other techniques (say using fluorescent proteins/confocal etc.) and what the limitations of using preps are? Specifically I'm thinking about the reported heterogeneity of membrane preps and what this means for lipid composition and organisation within the membrane.

Any help or ideas would be really appreciated.




It would be better if you could reconfirm your membrane prep with immunofluorescence (IF) results. Sometimes it's better to double check your results. Last time I was asked to run immunoprecipitation (IP) for my research, but I ran IF as well just to visualize the protein interaction.