Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) is commonly taught in undergraduate laboratory classes as a traditional method to analyze proteins. An experiment has been developed to teach these basic protein gel skills in the context of gluten protein isolation from various types of wheat flour. A further goal is to relate this technique to current mass spectrometry-based proteomic analysis techniques. Gluten proteins serve as particularly good experimental systems for the undergraduate classroom given the low cost of their sources and the current widespread public interest in gluten-free diets and Celiac-Sprue disease. The experiment set also can serve as preliminary data for student-written original research proposals and be the basis for a discussion of how scientific topics are presented in public forums. This experiment can also be readily adapted to a range of audiences and facilities.
- Hands-On Learning/Manipulatives
- Inquiry-Based/Discovery Learning
- Laboratory Instruction
- Mass Spectrometry
- Upper-Division Undergraduate