The protein make-up of an organism is unique to that individual species, however many essential proteins are highly conserved. This level of conservation can be seen when protein fingerprinting is used to compare and contrast different organisms. The Conservation of Genetic Information kit is an advanced protein analysis lab activity designed to teach delicate manipulation of protein samples and the use of a powerful and highly sensitive protein electrophoresis method.
In this lab activity, students learn to perform carefully controlled experiments to generate protein fragments using a proteolysis enzyme and then analyze the protein fragments by electrophoresis. By analysis of protein fragmentation patterns, i.e. protein fingerprints, students learn about protein sequence, structure, and their conservation. Students resolve a set of 3 functionally identical protein samples selected from throughout the animal kingdom; including human, bovine and sheep. After generating fingerprints by electrophoresis, students examine the protein fingerprint of each sample to determine the degree of conservation.
This lab activity teaches the following:
- Manipulation of protein samples.
- The concept of protein sequence.
- Time course dependent experiments.
- Use of protein electrophoresis for problem solving tasks.
Please refer to the Product Protocol for additional equipment needed.