Development of a Simple Method for Labeling and Identification of Protein Binders in Art
Easel paintings are assets with an important historic and cultural value. They usually possess a multi-tiered structure, composed of different layers some of which may present protein binders, making it important to identify these materials for restoration and conservation purposes. We propose the identification of different protein binders by a new fluorescent labeling method employing a coumarin based chromophore, C392STP
... yl)benzoyl)-2,3,5,6-tetrafluorobenzenesulfo-nate). The method was optimized using commercial proteins and was further tested on proteins extracted from hen's egg yolk, white bovine milk, and rabbit skin glue. To model more realistic conditions, paint models of easel paintings were prepared. The paint models were made with hen's egg yolk, white bovine milk, and rabbit skin glue, mixed with different pigments and submitted to artificial aging. Then the extracted proteins from the paint models were labeled with C392 which allowed a sensitive and selective identification by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) of the different protein binders used. As a final test, three 19th century easel paintings, from the Italian painter Giorgio Marini, were analyzed. The results show the potential of the proposed method for the identification of protein binders present in easel paintings.