Human globin chain separation by capillary electrophoresis in acidic isoelectric buffers

Pier Giorgio Righetti, Arianna Saccomani, Alexander V. Stoyanov, Cecilia Gelfi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A simple and reliable method, utilizing capillary electrophoresis in uncoated capillaries in acidic isoelectric buffers, is reported for screening for thalassemia and other defects on the synthesis of human globin chains. A solution of 50 mM iminodiacetic acid (pI 2.23), containing 7 M urea and 0.5% hydroxyethylcellulose (apparent pH 3.2) is used as background electrolyte for fast separation of heme-free, denatured globin (α, β and γ) chains. Due to the low conductivity of such a buffer, high voltage gradients (600 V/cm) can be applied, thus reducing the separation time to only a few minutes. It is additionally shown that inclusion of 2% surfactant (Tween 20) in the background electrolyte induces the splitting of the γ chains into two zones, called Aγ and Gγ, which represent the products of two genes coding for Ala or Gly as residue 136 of the chain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1733-1737
Number of pages5
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1998


  • Capillary electrophorcsis
  • Globin chains
  • Isoelectric buffers
  • Thalassemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Human globin chain separation by capillary electrophoresis in acidic isoelectric buffers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this