Guanidine Improves DEAE Anion Exchange-Based Analytical Separation of Plasmid DNA

Urh Černigoj, Jana Vidič, Ana Ferjančič, Urša Sinur, Klemen Božič, Nina Mencin, Anže Martinčič Celjar, Pete Gagnon, Aleš Štrancar

Electrophoresis, September 2021

Elution of strong and weak anion exchangers with sodium chloride gradients is commonly employed for analysis of sample mixtures containing different isomers of plasmid DNA. Gradient elution of a weak anion exchanger (diethylaminoethyl, DEAE) in the presence of guanidine hydrochloride (Gdn) roughly doubles resolution between open-circular (oc) and supercoiled (sc) isomers. It also improves resolution among sc, linear, and multimeric/aggregated forms. Sharper elution peaks with less tailing increase sensitivity about 30%. However, elution with an exclusively-Gdn gradient to 900 mM causes more than 10% loss of plasmid. Elution with a sodium chloride gradient while maintaining Gdn at a level concentration of 300 mM achieves close to 100% recovery of sc plasmid while maintaining the separation improvements achieved by exclusively-Gdn elution. Corresponding improvements in separation performance are not observed on a strong (quaternary amine) anion exchanger. Other chaotropic salts do not produce a favorable result on either exchanger, nor does the inclusion of surfactants or EDTA. Selectivity of the DEAE-Gdn method is orthogonal to electrophoresis, but with better quantification than agarose electrophoresis, better quantitative accuracy than capillary electrophoresis, and resolution approaching capillary electrophoresis.

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