A comparison between Sypro Ruby and ruthenium II tris (bathophenanthroline disulfonate) as fluorescent stains for protein detection in gels

Proteomics. 2001 May;1(5):699-704. doi: 10.1002/1615-9861(200104)1:5<699::AID-PROT699>3.0.CO;2-C.


A comparison between two fluorescent metal chelates for staining proteins separated by electrophoresis has been carried out. One of these chelates is ruthenium II tris (bathophenanthroline disulfonate) and the other is commercial Sypro Ruby. Both can be efficiently detected either with UV tables or with commercial laser fluorescence scanners. The sensitivity and homogeneity of the stains and the interference with mass spectrometry analysis have been investigated. It appears that both stains perform similarly for protein detection, while ruthenium II tris (bathophenanthroline disulfonate) performs better for mass spectrometry analyses and as cost-effectiveness ratio. However, Sypro Ruby is easier to use as a stain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • ATP Synthetase Complexes / isolation & purification
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Chelating Agents
  • Electron Transport Complex I
  • Electron Transport Complex III*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel / methods*
  • Fluorescent Dyes*
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mitochondria, Heart
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • NADH, NADPH Oxidoreductases / isolation & purification
  • Organometallic Compounds*
  • Phenanthrolines*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Succinate Dehydrogenase / isolation & purification


  • Chelating Agents
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Phenanthrolines
  • Rieske iron-sulfur protein
  • tris(4,7-diphenyl-1,10-phenanthroline)ruthenium (II)
  • Succinate Dehydrogenase
  • NADH, NADPH Oxidoreductases
  • ATP Synthetase Complexes
  • Electron Transport Complex I
  • Electron Transport Complex III