High yield electroblotting onto polyvinylidene difluoride membranes from polyacrylamide gels.Electrophoresis. 1992 Jan-Feb; 13(1-2):59-64.E
Optimal conditions of electroblotting that led to high protein recovery on polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) membranes were determined for sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). SDS concentrations in the gel and transfer buffer were found to be the most important factors affecting the amount of protein recovered on the PVDF membrane. The largest loss occurred during the first 10-30 min of transfer due to the relatively high initial SDS concentration in the gel. During this initial stage of transfer, most of the protein passed through the primary membrane and was partially retained on secondary and tertiary membranes. The value of presoaking gels prior to transfer to reduce the amount of SDS was evaluated by quantitating free SDS densitometrically and by correlating the reduced SDS concentration with increased electroblotting efficiency from presoaked gels. Transfer time was evaluated and no "overtransfer" was found even after very long transfer times. These results clearly indicate that proteins electroblotted onto PVDF membranes were tightly bound and could not be released by extending the transfer time. The effects of methanol and SDS concentrations on protein adsorption from solution to PVDF were also determined quantitatively. The results of this study strongly suggest that proteins fully saturated with SDS cannot bind efficiently to PVDF membranes. Since SDS is necessary for high protein mobility, the challenge in efficient electroblotting is to maintain an optimal SDS concentration which is high enough to permit effective removal from the gel and low enough to permit effective binding to the PVDF membrane. For 1.5 mm thick gels containing 0.2% SDS, presoaking the gel for 15-20 min in transfer buffer with 10% methanol prior to electroblotting provided the best recovery on the primary membrane.