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Physical Properties of Proteins

Proteins are the building blocks of life and there are estimated to be almost 1 million different proteins in a normal animal cell.  Each protein has very different and unique physical properties. The Physical Properties of Proteins kit is a lab activity that enables students to investigate the physical properties of several different proteins.  
Students will learn about protein solubility and how it is affected by various parameters; including temperature, pH, salt and dielectric constant.  They will understand about protein precipitation due to pH, high salt and in the presence of organic solvents and about protein denaturation as a result of high temperature.  In addition, the kit will demonstrate how non-protein agents, such as detergents drastically alter the physical properties of protein molecules and as a result, understand the importance of detergents in protein solubilisation.  

This lab activity involves analysis of three different types of pure proteins and then students alter some of those properties with a detergent and re-examine physical properties of those proteins.  Students are challenged to consider how physical properties of protein molecules can be exploited for purification and characterisation of proteins and apply their findings on a test sample of complex tissue extract.
Supplied with components needed for hands-on experimentation for six workstations of 4-5 students or 24-30 students. Supplied with Teacher’s Guide and separate Student’s Guides.


  • Physical properties of protein molecules in aqueous solution.


  • Effect of temperature on protein solubility and denaturation.
  • Effects of pH on protein solubility and protein isoelectric point.
  • Role of salt on protein solubility and protein salting-out or precipitation.
  • Interaction between protein and water molecules and hydrogen bonds
  • Effects of organic solvent on dielectric constant and protein precipitation.
  • The effects of detergents in altering the physical properties of proteins.

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BE-401 Physical Properties of Proteins For 6 groups of 4-5 or 24-30 students.

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