A comparison of two colorimetric assays, based upon Lowry and Bradford techniques, to estimate total protein in soil extracts.
ABSTRACT: Soil extracts usually contain large quantities of dissolved humified organic material, typically reflected by high polyphenolic content. Since polyphenols seriously confound quantification of extracted protein, minimising this interference is important to ensure measurements are representative. Although the Bradford colorimetric assay is used routinely in soil science for rapid quantification protein in soil-extracts, it has several limitations. We therefore investigated an alternative colorimetric technique based on the Lowry assay (frequently used to measure protein and humic substances as distinct pools in microbial biofilms). The accuracies of both the Bradford assay and a modified Lowry microplate method were compared in factorial combination. Protein was quantified in soil-extracts (extracted with citrate), including standard additions of model protein (BSA) and polyphenol (Sigma H1675-2). Using the Lowry microplate assay described, no interfering effects of citrate were detected even with concentrations up to 5 times greater than are typically used to extract soil protein. Moreover, the Bradford assay was found to be highly susceptible to two simultaneous and confounding artefacts: 1) the colour development due to added protein was greatly inhibited by polyphenol concentration, and 2) substantial colour development was caused directly by the polyphenol addition. In contrast, the Lowry method enabled distinction between colour development from protein and non-protein origin, providing a more accurate quantitative analysis. These results suggest that the modified-Lowry method is a more suitable measure of extract protein (defined by standard equivalents) because it is less confounded by the high polyphenolic content which is so typical of soil extracts.
Project description:With bovine serum albumin as the reference standard, the armadillo salivary-gland glycoprotein, although containing no chromogenic amino acids and only small amounts of colour-yielding peptides [Chou & Goldstein (1960) Biochem. J. 75, 100-115], is highly reactive in the Lowry phenol protein assay [Wu & Pigman (1977) Biochem. J. 161, 37-47]. After desialylation and Smith degradation of the glycoprotein, the Lowry phenol value increased by 13 and 30% respectively, which suggests that both sialic acid and N-acetylhexosamine exert shielding effects in this reaction. Acid hydrolysis for 30 min decreased the Lowry phenol value by more than 45%, which indicates that the peptide linkages and steric features affect the Lowry phenol reactivity. After hydrolysis for up to 6h, the remaining Lowry phenol value of the partially hydrolysed core protein paralleled the amount of unhydrolysed peptides, inferring that both acid-sensitive and acid-resistant chromophoric peptides are fairly evenly distributed along the whole polypeptide chain. As with bovine serum albumin, more than 80% of the colour yield obtained in the Lowry phenol assay with this glycoprotein is Cu2+-dependent.
Project description:Glomalin is a soil protein resembling heat shock protein (HSP) 60 and exerting high affinity to metals, causing retention of water in the environment and improving mechanical stability of soil. Currently, glomalin is determined in the soil or other samples by combination of autoclaving extraction and total protein determination typically by the Bradford method. In this paper, a piezoelectric biosensor was prepared to determine glomalin in a label-free measurement. The biosensor contained antibodies immobilized on quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), and the recognition layer was stabilized by iron oxide nanoparticles. The assay was tested on real soil samples and compared with the standard Bradford assay. Limit of detection of the assay was equal to 2.4?µg/g for a soil extract with a volume of 50?µl. The assay takes approximately half of an hour and was fully correlated to the Bradford assay. The biosensor had significant advantages than the other methods: it worked in a label-free mode and was fully applicable for practical samples.
Project description:This protocol paper describes how to assign a purity grade and to subsequently titrate extracellular vesicle (EV) solutions of a few microliters in volume by microplate COlorimetric NANoplasmonic (CONAN) assay. The CONAN assay consists of a solution of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) into which the EV preparation is added. The solution turns blue if the EV preparation is pure, whereas it stays red if soluble exogenous single and aggregated proteins (SAPs; often referred to as protein contaminants) are present. The color change is visible by the naked eye or can be quantified by UV-Vis spectroscopy, providing an index of purity (a unique peculiarity to date). The assay specifically targets SAPs, and not the EV-related proteins, with a detection limit <50 ng/?l (an order of magnitude higher resolution than that of the Bradford protein assay). For pure solutions, the assay also allows for determining the EV number, as the color shift is linearly dependent on the AuNP/EV molar ratio. Instead, it automatically reports if the solution bears SAP contaminants, thus avoiding counting artifacts. The CONAN assay proves to be robust and reliable and displays very interesting performances in terms of cost (inexpensive reagents, run by standard microplate readers), working volumes (1-2 ?l of sample required), and time (full procedure takes <1 h). The assay is applicable to all classes of natural and artificial lipid microvesicles and nanovesicles.
Project description:Sambucus nigra flowers, known as elderberry flowers (EBF), are a plant tissue rich in polyphenolic phytochemicals with important bioactivities. However, there are few studies dealing with the production of polyphenol-containing EBF extracts. The objective of the investigation presented herein was the development of a high-performance green extraction methodology, to generate EBF extracts enriched in polyphenolic substances, using an efficient deep eutectic solvent, combined with ultrasonication pretreatment. The DES was composed of L-lactic acid (hydrogen bond donor-HBD) and glycine (hydrogen bond acceptor-HBA) and, after an initial screening to properly regulate HBD/HBA ratio, the extraction was optimized by deploying response surface methodology. Under the optimized conditions, which were DES/water (85% w/v), liquid-to-solid ratio 60 mL g-1, and stirring speed 200 rounds per minute, the extraction yield in total polyphenols amounted to 121.24 ± 8.77 mg gallic acid equivalents per g dry matter. The integration of ultrasonication prior to the batch stirred-tank extraction boosted polyphenol recovery of up to 174.73 ± 2.62 mg gallic acid equivalents per g dry matter. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis showed that the richest EBF extract obtained was dominated by rutin, a di-p-coumaroylquic acid and chlorogenic acid.
Project description:Plant-derived secondary metabolites consumed in the diet, especially polyphenolic compounds, are known to have a range of positive health effects. They are present in circulation after ingestion and absorption and can be sequestered into cells within particular organs, but have rarely been investigated systematically in osteological tissues. However, a small number of polyphenols and similar molecules are known to bind to bone. For example alizarin, a plant derived anthraquinone and tetracycline (a naturally occurring antibiotic), are both absorbed into bone from circulation during bone formation and are used to monitor mineralization in osteological studies. Both molecules have also been identified serendipitously in archaeological human bones derived from natural sources in the diet. Whether an analogous mechanism of sequestration extends to additional diet-derived plant-polyphenols has not previously been systematically studied. We investigated whether a range of diet-derived polyphenol-like compounds bind to bone using untargeted metabolomics applied to the analysis of bone extracts from pigs fed an acorn-based diet. We analysed the diet which was rich in ellagitannins, extracts from the pig bones and surrounding tissue, post-mortem. We found direct evidence of multiple polyphenolic compounds in these extracts and matched them to the diet. We also showed that these compounds were present in the bone but not surrounding tissues. We also provide data showing that a range of polyphenolic compounds bind to hydroxyapatite in vitro. The evidence for polyphenol sequestration into physiological bone, and the range and specificity of polyphenols in human and animal diets, raises intriguing questions about potential effects on bone formation and bone health. Further studies are needed to determine the stability of the sequestered molecules post-mortem but there is also potential for (palaeo)dietary reconstruction and forensic applications.
Project description:The aim of the present study was to establish the best experimental conditions that lead to the extracts richest in polyphenolic compounds obtained from pomace and canes of Vitis vinifera. In this regard, a D-Optimal design of experiments (DoE) method was applied to investigate the extraction process parameters from each of three materials: red pomace (RP), white pomace (WP) and canes (C). The input variables were the extraction temperature and the ethanol ratio and as response, the total polyphenols content (TPC) was determined. A design space was generated for each of the plant materials and the most concentrated polyphenol extracts were obtained using 50% ethanol at a temperature of 80 °C. Further, the phenolic profiles of the concentrated extracts were detected by LC/MS/MS and the results showed that WP extract was richer in polyphenolic compounds, both flavonoid and phenolic acids, followed by the RP and C extracts. The antioxidant assays revealed that WP and RP extracts exhibited a higher antioxidant activity which correlated to the high content of polyphenols. These findings revealed that RP, WP and C, currently considered agricultural wastes from winery, may be valorized as an important source of natural antioxidants.
Project description:A new family of polyphenolic carbosilane dendrimers functionalized with ferulic, caffeic, and gallic acids has been obtained through a straightforward amidation reaction. Their antioxidant activity has been studied by different techniques such as DPPH (2,2'-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) radical scavenging assay, FRAP assay (ferric reducing antioxidant power), and cyclic voltammetry. The antioxidant analysis showed that polyphenolic dendrimers exhibited higher activities than free polyphenols in all cases. The first-generation dendrimer decorated with gallic acid stood out as the best antioxidant compound, displaying a correlation between the number of hydroxyl groups in the polyphenol structure and the antioxidant activity of the compounds. Moreover, the antibacterial capacity of these new systems has been screened against Gram-positive (+) and Gram-negative (-) bacteria, and we observed that polyphenolic dendrimers functionalized with caffeic and gallic acids were capable of decreasing bacterial growth. In contrast, ferulic carbosilane dendrimers and free polyphenols showed no effect, establishing a correlation between antioxidant activity and antibacterial capacity. Finally, a viability assay in human skin fibroblasts cells (HFF-1) allowed for corroborating the nontoxicity of the polyphenolic dendrimers at their active antibacterial concentration.
Project description:Background:Paper-analytical devices (PADs) have gained popularity as a simple and low-cost alternative for determining a wide range of analytes including proteins. Even though several colorimetric PADs methods for protein estimation are reported in literature, they lack justification for the chosen method and parameters therein. Aim:Major aim of this work was to thoroughly evaluate the most commonly used colorimetric protein assays and recommend the most appropriate method for PADs platform. Method:We performed following six colorimetric protein assays on PADs: biuret, lowry, bicinchoninic acid, bradford, bromocresol green, and tetrabromophenol blue. We obtained assay signal by analyzing images of the PADs and then assessed analytical figures of merit. Result:Precision, accuracy, LOD, and LOQ of PADs protein assay methods ranged from 1.2 to 6.4%, 73.3-102.4%, 0.3-3.8 ?mg/mL, and 1.2-12.8 ?mg/mL, respectively. Out of six methods, we determined bromocresol green and tetrabromophenol blue as the best methods for serum and urine samples, respectively based on their optimized parameters and analytical figures of merit. The total average serum and urine protein in human samples were found to be 94.6 ?± ?16.2 ?mg/mL and 2.1 ?± ?1.5 ?mg/mL, respectively using PADs methods. The PADs result on human samples moderately correlated with the results from spectrophotometric determination (r2 ?> ?0.6). Conclusion:Paper-based protein assays were easy to perform and were completed with thousand-fold less volume of samples/reagents without a spectrophotometer compared to conventional assay methods. After testing human samples, we found one protein assay method may not be appropriate for all types of samples.
Project description:The incorporation of 2,2,2-trichloroethanol in polyacrylamide gels allows for fluorescent visualization of proteins following electrophoresis. Ultraviolet-light exposure, in the presence of this trichlorinated compound, results in a covalent modification of the tryptophan indole ring that shifts the fluorescent emission into the visible range. Based on this principle, we used 2,2,2-trichloroethanol to develop a microplate format protein quantification assay based on the fluorescent signal generated by modified proteins. We also demonstrated a specific fluorescent emission of 2,2,2-trichloroethanol-labeled protein at 450?nm, with a 310?nm excitation, resulting from modification of both tryptophan and tyrosine residues. Following optimization, this protein quantification assay displayed superior sensitivity when compared to UV absorbance at 280?nm (A280), and enabled quantification beyond the linear range permitted by the Bradford method. This 100??L assay displayed a sensitivity of 10.5??g in a range up to at least 200??g. Furthermore, we extended the utility of this method through the development of a 20??L low-volume assay, with a sensitivity of 8.7??g tested up to 100??g, which enabled visualization of proteins following SDS-PAGE. Collectively, these results demonstrate the utility of 2,2,2-trichloroethanol-based protein quantification and demonstrates the protein visualization in polyacrylamide gels based on 2,2,2-trichloroethanol-labeling pre-electrophoresis.
Project description:Phenolic content, antioxidant activities and antimicrobial activities of methanolic, ethanolic and ethyl acetate extracts of five different varieties of aonla (Emblica officinalis) fruits as well their powders were evaluated. Total polyphenolic content in fresh aonla fruit extracts varied from 70.6 to 159.4 mg GAE/g and their EC 50 (effective concentration) values for antioxidant activity ranged from 46.72 to 359.7 µg/ml. Significant varietal difference were observed in antioxidant activity of the extracts of fresh aonla fruit and powder. Among the variety analyzed, Desi variety exhibited significantly higher TPC (total polyphenol content) and antioxidant activity in fresh as well as dried form in all the extracts. Methanolic extracts of various varieties had maximum TPC and antioxidant activity. Variety NA-7 showed high TPC and antioxidant activity. Almost, similar trend was observed among the extracts of aonla powders for TPC and AOA (antioxidant activity). A high positive correlation coefficient existed between TPC and AOA of different aonla extracts. All the extracts analyzed, exhibited a strong antimicrobial potential against E. coli, Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. This study suggests aonla as potential natural source of antioxidants and antimicrobial agents.