Antibody purification: ammonium sulfate fractionation or gel filtration.
ABSTRACT Antibodies can be purified by a variety of methods based on their unique physical and chemical properties such as size, solubility, charge, hydrophobicity and binding affinity. This chapter focuses on ammonium sulfate precipitation as a convenient first step in antibody purification in that, it allows the concentration of the starting material and the precipitation of the desired protein. The principle of ammonium sulfate precipitation lies in "salting out" proteins from the solution. The proteins are prevented to form hydrogen bonds with water and the salt facilitates their interaction with each other forming aggregates that afterward precipitate out of solution. Gel filtration or size- exclusion chromatography is also discussed in this chapter. Gel filtration is based on the relative size of protein molecules and it is of great value to separate IgMs, exchange buffers and/or desalt solutions. The columns designed to separate the proteins are composed of porous beads and the proteins will flow through the packed column inside and around the beads, depending on its size.