Three-dimensional gel electrophoresis (3-DE), which combines agarose gel electrophoresis and isoelectric focusing/SDS-PAGE, was developed to characterize monoclonal proteins (M-proteins). However, the original 3-DE method has not been optimized and its specificity has not been demonstrated. The main goal of this study was to optimize the 3-DE procedure and then compare it with 2-DE. We developed a highly sensitive 3-DE method in which M-proteins are extracted from a first-dimension agarose gel, by diffusing into 150 mM NaCl, and the recovery of M-proteins was 90.6%. To validate the utility of the highly sensitive 3-DE, we compared it with the original 3-DE method. We found that highly sensitive 3-DE provided for greater M-protein recovery and was more effective in terms of detecting spots on SDS-PAGE gels than the original 3-DE. Moreover, highly sensitive 3-DE separates residual normal IgG from M-proteins, which could not be done by 2-DE. Applying the highly sensitive 3-DE to clinical samples, we found that the characteristics of M-proteins vary tremendously between individuals. We believe that our highly sensitive 3-DE method described here will prove useful in further studies of the heterogeneity of M-proteins.
- Monoclonal proteins
- Three-dimensional gel electrophoresis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology