An alternative tandem affinity purification strategy applied to Arabidopsis protein complex isolation

Plant J. 2005 Mar;41(5):767-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2004.02328.x.


Tandem affinity purification (TAP) strategies constitute an efficient approach for protein complex purification from many different organisms. However, the application of such strategies for purifying endogenous Arabidopsis multi-protein complexes has not yet been reported. Here, we describe an alternative TAP (TAPa) system that successfully allows protein complex purification from Arabidopsis. In our newly generated TAPa tag we have replaced the tobacco etch virus (TEV) protease cleavage site with the more specific and low-temperature active rhinovirus 3C protease site. In addition, the second purification step can now be performed through two different affinity tags: a six His repeat or nine copies of a myc repeat. To examine our purification procedure we generated a C-terminal fusion between the TAPa tag and CSN3, a component of the multi-protein COP9 signalosome (CSN) complex. Subsequent analysis showed that CSN3-TAPa could rescue a csn3 mutant, and that the components of the CSN complex could be co-purified with CSN3-TAPa. As part of our long running interest in light signaling in Arabidopsis we have generated Arabidopsis transgenic lines harboring, both N-terminal and C-terminal TAPa fusions of many different light signaling pathway regulators. Molecular characterization of these transgenic lines showed fusion expression in 88% of the genes analyzed and that this expression is largely independent of the fusion orientation. Mutant complementation analysis showed that most of the TAPa fusions analyzed retained function of the wild-type proteins. Taken together, the data demonstrate the suitability of the TAPa system to allow efficient multi-protein complex isolation from stably transformed Arabidopsis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / chemistry
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Macromolecular Substances / isolation & purification
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Macromolecular Substances

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY737283
  • GENBANK/AY788908