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Peptide Storage


For long-term storage of peptides, lyophilisation is highly recommended. Lyophilised peptides can be stored for years at temperatures of -20 °C or lower with little or no degradation. Peptides in solution are much less stable. Peptides are susceptible to degradation by bacteria so they should be dissolved in sterile, purified water.

As moisture will greatly reduce the long term stability of peptides, peptides should be allowed to equilibrate to room temperature in a dessicator before dispensing, thus avoiding exposure to moisture in the air which will condense on the peptide. Once dispensed, the tube should be gently purged with anhydrous nitrogen or argon, the container recapped, sealed with parafilm and stored at -20 °C.

In solution, some slow degradation reactions may take place, the rate of which will be sequence dependent:

  • Peptides containing methionine, cysteine, or tryptophan residues can have limited storage time in solution due to oxidation. These peptides should be dissolved in oxygen-free solvents.
  • Glutamine and asparagine can deamidate to Glu and Asp, respectively
  • Cysteines can undergo oxidative cyclisation to form Cys-Cys
  • Charged residues (Asp, Glu, Lys, Arg, His) are hygroscopic (take up water + moisture)

To prevent the damage caused by repeated freezing and thawing of peptides, dissolving the amount needed for the immediate experiment and storage of the remaining peptide in solid form is recommended.

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