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Denaturing Polyacrylamide Gels

Denaturing chemicals can be added to the acrylamides during formation of polyacrylamide gels. These additives keep the solutes or molecules in a denatured state during separation. Urea denatures double-stranded DNA to single-stranded DNA. A detergent, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), denatures proteins. Adding SDS with heat denatures proteins to small, similar shaped particles and coats each so that protein structures are not reformed. SDS is usually added to the gel and the protein sample. Then the mixture of protein coated fragments moves through polyacrylamide gel pores with speed similar to a mixture of DNA fragments.