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Protein extracts obtained from cells or tissues often require removal of interfering substances for the preparation of high-quality protein samples in proteomic analysis. A number of protein extraction methods have been applied to various biological samples. TCA/acetone precipitation and phenol extraction, a common method of protein extraction, is thought to minimize protein degradation and activity of proteases as well as reduce contaminants like salts and polyphenols. However, the TCA/acetone precipitation method relies on the complete pulverization and repeated rinsing of tissue powder to remove the interfering substances, which is laborious and time-consuming. In addition, by prolonged incubation in TCA/acetone, the precipitated proteins are more difficult to re-dissolve. We have described a modified method of TCA/acetone precipitation of plant proteins for proteomic analysis. Proteins of cells or tissues were extracted using SDS-containing buffer, precipitated with equal volume of 20% TCA/acetone, and washed with acetone. Compared to classical TCA/acetone precipitation and simple acetone precipitation, this protocol generates comparable yields, spot numbers, and proteome profiling, but takes less time (ca. 45 min), thus avoiding excess protein modification and degradation after extended-period incubation in TCA/acetone or acetone. The modified TCA/acetone precipitation method is simple, fast, and suitable for proteomic analysis of various plant tissues in proteomic analysis.
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