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Book Review The Practice of Quantitative Gel Electrophoresis. By A. Chrambach

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generated; rather it is a summary index of all the various
methods referred to in earlier chapters and as such provides a most useful way of rapidly finding illustrative examples of their use.
In summary, this is a splendid book. Inevitably it is
stronger in some areas than in others; I personally would
have welcomed a little more discussion of photochemical
methods, of phenolic coupling, and of intramolecular aryl
addition. But these are minor quibbles. Overall it gives not
only a good account of the power and diversity of presently available methods, but also a feeling for the current
state of intense activity in this area, and for the potential
for new breakthroughs. Anyone who wishes to use the
present methodology o r to participate in the exciting developments that lie just around the corner should read this
book from cover to cover.
A . L. J. Beckwith [NB 823 IE]
Research School of Chemistry
Australian National University, Canberra (Australia)
The Practice of Quantitative Gel Electrophoresis. By A .
Chrarnbach. VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim 1985.
xv, 265 pp., bound, DM 110.00.-ISBN 3-527-26039-0
It must be said at the outset that this is an extremely useful
book. Those who have previously used polyacrylamide gel
electrophoresis (PAGE) only as an analytical technique
will have found the texts by Weber and Osborn, by
Laemrnli and by O’Farrell, sufficient for obtaining reproducible one- o r two-dimensional protein patterns, or for
determining “apparent” molecular weights. The present
book treats sodium dodecyl sulfate PAGE (SDS-PAGE) as
just one of the possible forms of gel electrophoresis; everyone who casts gels knows that PAGE did not begin with
Maize1 or Laernrnli, but a glance at current issues of biochemical journals might lead one to think that most other
forms of analytical gel electrophoresis are now being forgotten.
A . Chrarnbach sees gel electrophoresis as an integrated
whole. Consequently, as is stressed in the preface, polyacrylamide gel and agarose gel electrophoresis, isotachophoresis and electrofocussing are treated in unity. The objective is to isolate specific proteins or protein complexes
by an appropriate combination of these various methods
for passing a protein mixture through a gel. In this connection the native macromolecules themselves are chiefly of
interest, as distinct from the dissociated individual pro-
teins that are studied in SDS-PAGE. The concept of
“quantitative” gel electrophoresis results from the methodology now available; suitable conditions for achieving a
separation are determined using computer programs, taking into account results from theoretical physical chemistry and from statistics. (Some programs are listed in the
appendix, while for others a source from which they can
be obtained is given in the text.) Experimental arrangements for quantitative electrophoresis are described in detail. In the author’s opinion no manufacturer yet offers a
system which comes near to meeting all the requirements,
e.g. precise temperature control and efficient heat conduction; hence the advice is to build one’s own. Following a
precise account of the properties of polyacrylamide and
agarose gels, the many different available buffer systems
for running these gels are described. This leads to a detailed plan for determining the “happiness conditions”
which apply to the protein to be isolated, i.e. those conditions under which the protein will retain its native form
during its passage through the system. From the determination of the optimal concentration, degree of cross-linking of the separating gel, and p H value, the computer program is used to define conditions for fractionation by
PAGE, electrofocussing or isotachophoresis.
The book is arranged in a clear way, and is provided
with a carefully compiled index and an extensive appendix. Information on a specific application can be found
without difficulty by using the detailed contents list, and
the many cross-references give rapid and precise access to
important additional information. This book will probably
be too complicated for someone wishing to carry out a gel
electrophoresis for the first time. For all others, though,
who daily encounter problems of protein separation, and
are not regular readers of Electrophoresis, it will certainly
provide useful ideas for new experiments, and open u p the
possibility of using an advanced technique.
Harald Herrmann [NB 783 IE]
Institut fur Biochemie
der Universitat Wien (Austria)
The title of the communication by C. A. McAuliffe, B.
Beagley, G. A. Gott, A. G. Mackie, P. P. MacRory, and R.
G. Pritchard, Angew. Chern. Znt. Ed. Engl. 26 (1987) 264
should read “Structure of Triphenylarsanediiodine,
[Ph3As.12], a Compound Formed in the Thermal Decomposition of [ M ~ ( O A S P ~ ~ ) & S O ~ ) ~ ] . ’ ’
Regrsrered names. rrademarks. erc used in rhislournal. even x ’ h m nor marked as such. are nor 10 be ronsrdered unprorecred b? law.
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Angew. Chem. In!. Ed. Engl. 26 (1987) No. 4
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book, gel, practice, review, electrophoresis, chrambach, quantitative
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