Protein electrophoresis

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Please see the main article gel electrophoresis for an introduction on the principles of electrophoresis.
Schematic representation of a protein electrophoresis gel

In chemistry and medicine, protein electrophoresis is a method of analysing a mixture of proteins by means of gel electrophoresis, mainly in blood serum (blood plasma is not suitable).

Interpretation

There are two large classes of blood proteins: albumin and globulin. They are generally equal in proportion, but albumin is much smaller and lightly negatively charged, leading to an accumulation of albumin on the electrophoretic gel. A small band before albumin represents transthyretin (also named pre-albumin). Some forms of medication or body chemicals can cause their own band, usually small (see, however, paraprotein).

The globulins are classified by their banding pattern (with their main representatives):

See also