Purification of tagged proteins such as antibodies is a common and essential task in many pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic labs, but it’s also cumbersome. One novel protein purification system is streamlining workflows and easing bottlenecks so researchers can answer their important questions quickly and cost-efficiently.
Protein purification: a critical but complicated first step
There is a growing demand for purified proteins such as antibodies for both research and therapeutic applications. They are the key components for many in vitro and in vivo functional assays and structural and mechanistic studies of drug targets. They are also increasingly under investigation and development as biopharmaceutical drug candidates. To ensure accurate results, researchers must first generate highly pure antibodies or other proteins.
Nevertheless, a lack of commercially available, cost-efficient, and high-throughput purification systems makes the preparation of these essential molecules a time- and resource-intensive task. The most common approach for purifying target antibodies and other proteins is column chromatography using different types of resins.
This procedure requires lengthy timelines and many hands-on steps, including column packing and equilibration, sample centrifugation and filtration, sample loading, washing, and finally, elution of the purified samples.
Helping labs speed up protein purification workflows
US biotech GenScript offers a better solution: the AmMag™ magnetic bead-based, high-throughput protein and antibody purification platform.
The main advantage of using magnetic beads for protein purification is that it does not require the repetitive centrifugation and filtration or column packing steps typical of other methods, so the process is quick and convenient.
For intracellular proteins, a mixture of cell lysate and beads is briefly incubated, allowing the antibody or other protein to bind the beads, and then the target is washed off the beads using a dedicated magnetic separation device or instrument. For secreted proteins, the beads can even be added directly to the cell cultures without affecting cell viability, so the binding can already occur during protein expression.
Purifying proteins using magnetic beads is not a new idea, but GenScript has optimized its platform to include high-performance magnetic beads, plus devices for manual or automated processing. Labs of all sizes can configure the system to their needs, speeding up purification workflows and reaching their results in a more affordable manner.
“Most other purification systems on the market are lacking either in throughput, automation, or cost-effectiveness,” Sherlin Lee, Marketing Specialist at GenScript, told me in an interview. “The AmMag™ platform is a high-quality and affordable purification solution that’s fast and simple to use and scalable to the needs of most labs.”
Protein purification in under an hour instead of days
For labs that need to perform high-throughput protein or antibody purifications, GenScript offers the AmMag™ SA instrument, which semi-automates the washing and elution steps of the procedure. The AmMag™ SA instrument can process up to 12 samples at a time and shortens the purification time to only 30-40 minutes.
It can also process large-volume samples of up to 50 ml, and for even larger volumes or fermentation samples, GenScript offers tools to reduce the sample volume prior to processing. The instrument features an integrated touchscreen and is controlled via its user-friendly software interface. Plus, its closed environment minimizes the chance of endotoxin contamination during purification.
“The AmMag™ SA instrument simplifies the protein and antibody purification process and saves researchers significant time in their daily work. The high yield and purity of proteins purified by the AmMag™ SA are comparable to the market gold-standard system, but the AmMag™ SA takes up much less space in the lab, saves more time, and provides substantial cost savings,” explained Lee.
The magic of AmMag™ magnetic beads
GenScript’s AmMag™ Protein A Magnetic Beads, which are designed for purifying antibodies, have a very high binding capacity – over 40 mg/ml – so each purification uses fewer beads, saving costs. Plus, these beads are supplied in a 25% slurry and can be re-used 30-40 times – many times more than others on the market. The AmMag™ Protein A beads are also alkaline-resistant and can withstand rigorous cleaning procedures while maintaining low endotoxin levels.
For purifying polyhistidine-tagged (His-tagged) proteins under native or denaturing conditions, GenScript offers AmMag™ Ni Magnetic Beads. These beads are resistant to metal ion-binding molecules and can be regenerated using sodium hydroxide. They are also supplied in a 25% slurry and can be reused more than 100 times. The highly uniform bead size ensures reproducible results, and the gentle sample handling procedures minimize protein degradation.
Smart tools for manual, low-cost processing
An assortment of AmMag™ magnetic racks and boxes enable low-throughput and low-cost washing of the AmMag™ beads and elution of the targets and are ideal for smaller labs or labs with limited resources. The AmMag™ wand and block can also be used for managing high sample volumes, simply by pulling down the beads with the target protein and resuspending them in the desired volume.
The manual AmMag™ procedure is still much faster than column chromatography: it takes less than two hours to complete instead of more than four hours. The AmMag™ modular magnetic racks support a range of purification scales and are compatible with standard laboratory sample tubes, microcentrifuge tubes, and plates.
The need to purify antibodies and other proteins is not likely to fade anytime soon, whether it’s for academic research, early drug discovery projects, drug development and engineering, or process development.
GenScript’s line of AmMag™ purification solutions will help ease workflow bottlenecks for all of these applications and help scientists reach their goals more quickly and affordably.
Ready to streamline your protein purification workflows? Register to join this live webinar on January 27 or visit GenScript’s website to find out more about their unique AmMag™ Magnetic Bead Purification System and the AmMag™ SA instrument.
Header image via Shutterstock.com and article images via Genscript.