Experimental analysis of proteins typically requires expression and purification of proteins. Expression is achieved by manipulating DNA that encodes the protein(s) of interest. Hence, protein analysis usually requires DNA methods, especially cloning. Some examples of genetic methods include conceptual translation, Site-directed mutagenesis, using a fusion protein, and matching allele with disease states. Some proteins have never been directly sequenced, however by translating codons from known mRNA sequences into amino acids by a method known as conceptual translation. (See genetic code.) Site-directed mutagenesis selectively introduces mutations that change the structure of a protein. The function of parts of proteins can be better understood by studying the change in phenotype as a result of this change. Fusion proteins are made by inserting protein tags, such as the His-tag, to produce a modified protein that is easier to track. An example of this would be GFP-Snf2H which consists of a protein bound to a green fluorescent protein to form a hybrid protein. By analyzing DNA alleles can be identified as being associated with disease states, such as in calculation of LOD scores.
Protein Extraction From Tissues
Protein extraction from tissues with tough extracellular matrices (e.g., biopsy samples, venous tissues, cartilage, skin) is often achieved in a laboratory setting by impact pulverization in liquid nitrogen. Samples are frozen in liquid nitrogen and subsequently subjected to impact or mechanical grinding. As water in the samples becomes very brittle at these temperature, the samples are often reduced to a collection of fine fragments, which can then be dissolved for protein extraction. Stainless steel devices known as tissue pulverizers are sometimes used for this purpose.