High-resolution two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE) can resolve many hundreds of proteins present in complex mixtures depending on the method of detection. These proteins can be characterised qualitatively, with respect to their electrophoretic mobilities (i.e. charge and apparent molecular mass) and quantitatively, using densitometry, to determine their amounts. There has been a widespread application of 2DE in the analysis and characterisation of protein mutations for a range of organisms. This review presents examples of the use of 2DE to study naturally occurring protein mutations and polymorphisms as well as the characterisation of induced protein mutations in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Examples are presented to illustrate the use of 2DE to detect mutations affecting the electrophoretic mobility and biosynthesis of individual proteins as well as mutations leading to global alterations in cellular protein synthesis. The advantages and disadvantages of 2DE in the detection of protein mutations are discussed.
- Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional