A simple, economical and environmental-friendly method for staining protein gels using an extract from walnut-husk

Umar Mushtaq, Sehar Saleem Bhat, Arif Ali Parray, Sumaiya Nabi, Aflaq Hamid Wani, Ahsanul Haq Qurashi, Khawar Sohail Siddiqui, Firdous Ahmad Khanday

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1 Scopus citations


We wish to present a simple, rapid, cost-effective and environmentally safe method for staining proteins in polyacrylamide gels, using aqueous-based natural extracts from fresh green walnut (Juglans regia) hulls/husks. The technique takes not more than 10 min for staining and is comparable in sensitivity to the most commonly used Coomassie R-250 staining method when applied to different concentrations of Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) and various amounts of E. coli extracts. The protein (BSA) band (~0.5 μg) and E. coli extract comprising ~25 μg total protein can be visualized on polyacrylamide gels. Compared to both Coomassie and Ponceau S staining, the current method displayed more intense bands when proteins are transferred to polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane. Although the walnut-dye (WD) method does not require a time-consuming destaining step, excess background stain can simply be removed by washing in water. Extract from old dried black husks and extract from fresh green husks kept for a year was also effective. Using LC-MS, Myricetin and/or Kaempferol were found to be active compounds responsible for staining proteins. Compared to traditional Coomassie method, the inclusion of expensive and toxic solvents (methanol and acetic acid) is completely avoided resulting in positive health, environmental and economic benefits. In view of all these advantages, the WD method has immense potential to replace currently used protein staining techniques.

Original languageBritish English
Article number109310
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
StatePublished - 5 Jan 2021


  • Coomassie
  • GC-MS
  • Juglans regia
  • Myricetin
  • Natural product
  • Protein
  • Staining
  • Walnut husk


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