Purification of proteins associated with specific genomic Loci

Cell. 2009 Jan 9;136(1):175-86. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.11.045.


Eukaryotic DNA is bound and interpreted by numerous protein complexes in the context of chromatin. A description of the full set of proteins that regulate specific loci is critical to understanding regulation. Here, we describe a protocol called proteomics of isolated chromatin segments (PICh) that addresses this issue. PICh uses a specific nucleic acid probe to isolate genomic DNA with its associated proteins in sufficient quantity and purity to allow identification of the bound proteins. Purification of human telomeric chromatin using PICh identified the majority of known telomeric factors and uncovered a large number of novel associations. We compared proteins found at telomeres maintained by the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway to proteins bound at telomeres maintained by telomerase. We identified and validated several proteins, including orphan nuclear receptors, that specifically bind to ALT telomeres, establishing PICh as a useful tool for characterizing chromatin composition.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Chromatin / chemistry*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Telomere / chemistry


  • Chromatin
  • DNA-Binding Proteins