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. 2018 Nov 1;(141).
doi: 10.3791/58532.

Affinity Purification of Chloroplast Translocon Protein Complexes Using the TAP Tag


Affinity Purification of Chloroplast Translocon Protein Complexes Using the TAP Tag

Venkatasalam Shanmugabalaji et al. J Vis Exp. .


Chloroplast biogenesis requires the import of thousands of nucleus-encoded proteins into the plastid. The import of these proteins depends on the translocon at the outer (TOC) and inner (TIC) chloroplast membranes. The TOC and TIC complexes are multimeric and probably contain yet unknown components. One of the main goals in the field is to establish the complete inventory of TOC and TIC components. For the isolation of TOC-TIC complexes and the identification of new components, the preprotein receptor TOC159 has been modified N-terminally by the addition of the tandem affinity purification (TAP) tag resulting in TAP-TOC159. The TAP-tag is designed for two sequential affinity purification steps (hence "tandem affinity"). The TAP-tag used in these studies consists of a N-terminal IgG-binding domain derived from Staphylococcus aureus Protein A (ProtA) followed by a calmodulin-binding peptide (CBP). Between these two affinity tags, a tobacco etch virus (TEV) protease cleavage site has been included. Therefore, TEV protease can be used for gentle elution of TOC159-containing complexes after binding to IgG beads. In the protocol presented here, the second Calmodulin-affinity purification step was omitted. The purification protocol starts with the preparation and solubilization of total cellular membranes. After the detergent-treatment, the solubilized membrane proteins are incubated with IgG beads for the immunoisolation of TAP-TOC159-containing complexes. Upon binding and extensive washing, TAP-TOC159 containing complexes are cleaved and released from the IgG beads using the TEV protease whereby the S. aureus IgG-binding domain is removed. Western blotting of the isolated TOC159-containing complexes can be used to confirm the presence of known or suspected TOC and TIC proteins. More importantly, the TOC159-containing complexes have been used successfully to identify new components of the TOC and TIC complexes by mass spectrometry. The protocol that we present potentially allows the efficient isolation of any membrane-bound protein complex to be used for the identification of yet unknown components by mass spectrometry.

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