Protein quality means a bunch of different things to different people. Examining quality can mean assessing a protein’s purity, molecular weight, function, etc. In this case, we’re really focusing in on the functionality of a protein and why this is one of the most important assessments among all the other ways of evaluating protein quality.
To begin, identifying the molecular weight of your protein sample gets you closer to verifying that you have the right protein or that it’s present in your sample. And, knowing your protein’s purity helps you to figure out if there are contaminants in your preparation. However, neither of these methods address how your protein will function or behave. And, that’s ultimately what you’re trying to learn about your protein, isn’t it?
The danger of not knowing functionality early in your experimental workflow is that you can end up spending a lot of time and money doing experiments unnecessarily with a protein that is of low or inferior quality. That low quality can derail an experiment and lead you to varying results and conclusions. You’re left wondering why you’re getting inconsistent results even when you’ve followed the same protocol a million times before.
Assessing functionality early can help you understand the quality of your samples, help you move forward only with the best ones, and save you from investing more time than you need to. Next time you get inconsistent results, you may want to think more closely about assessing the functionality or quality of your protein.
Join the discussion
NanoTemper and Science are taking on the reproducibility crisis with a discussion on the importance of understanding and monitoring sample quality. View the on-demand webinar.