Peptides are short chains of amino acid monomers that are linked by peptide or amide bonds. These covalent chemical bonds are formed when carboxyl groups of one amino acid bond react with the amino acids of another. These are different in size from proteins because peptides typically contain 50 amino acids or less while proteins are typically made up of one or more polypeptides.
There are multiple classes of peptides– including milk, ribosomal and nonribosomal peptides as well as peptones and peptide fragments. These occur in a natural environment, but can also be synthesized to mimic their chemical makeup.
Synthetic peptides do not always function in the same way as their natural counterparts, so it is important to research which would be most appropriate for the laboratory setting where you will be conducting your research.
Your peptide supplier should deliver your supply in lyophilized form, thought they will often be stored in hydroscopic form as well.
- A desiccator should be used to maintain a dry environment for the peptides.
- The use of a frost-free freezer should be avoided for peptide storage facilities. These machines alter the temperature and moisture commonly found in a deep-freeze environment that could affect you’re the stability of the peptides.
- Any short-term temperature changes that occur during the shipping should not affect the efficacy or the product life of your peptides.
- In most cases peptides can remain at room temperature for up to two years if the storage of these items is consistent.
Absorption of water decreases the stability of your peptides. This will, in turn, reduce the overall content of your peptide solution. Make sure that your supplier follows the storage requirements above to ensure the quality of your product.
Preparing Peptides for Use
Once your peptides have arrived from your supplier you should store your lyophilized peptides in a freezer that is at least -20 degrees Celsius.
- To ensure the maximum stability of your product you should aim to store the peptides in a dry environment. Ensure that your freezer is dry and can reach the necessary temperature settings before placing your peptides in storage.
- When you are ready to use the peptide in your experiment slowly warm the peptide to room temperature to ensure stability.
The items should reach room temperature before you open the container or weigh out the portions you will use for your experiment. The amount of the peptide should be measured out quickly, and then the vial should be resealed and returned to the freezer until you require additional portions of your peptides for an additional experiment.
Most people search for peptide suppliers based on the type of peptides they have for sale, but it is also important to determine what size quantities they have available so you can ensure that you will have enough of your supplies to conduct the necessary repeat procedures of your laboratory experiment.
Finding a supplier that sells several similar peptides will also allow you to apply these items in similar laboratory settings to determine how their results compare when applied to animal subjects.