In vitro BioID: mapping the CENP-A microenvironment with high temporal and spatial resolution

Mol Biol Cell. 2019 May 15;30(11):1314-1325. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E18-12-0799. Epub 2019 Mar 20.


The centromere is located at the primary constriction of condensed chromosomes where it acts as a platform regulating chromosome segregation. The histone H3 variant CENP-A is the foundation for kinetochore formation. CENP-A directs the formation of a highly dynamic molecular neighborhood whose temporal characterization during mitosis remains a challenge due to limitations in available techniques. BioID is a method that exploits a "promiscuous" biotin ligase (BirA118R or BirA*) to identify proteins within close proximity to a fusion protein of interest. As originally described, cells expressing BirA* fusions were exposed to high biotin concentrations for 24 h during which the ligase transferred activated biotin (BioAmp) to other proteins within the immediate vicinity. The protein neighborhood could then be characterized by streptavidin-based purification and mass spectrometry. Here we describe a further development to this technique, allowing CENP-A interactors to be characterized within only a few minutes, in an in vitro reaction in lysed cells whose physiological progression is "frozen." This approach, termed in vitro BioID (ivBioID), has the potential to study the molecular neighborhood of any structural protein whose interactions change either during the cell cycle or in response to other changes in cell physiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biotinylation
  • Centromere / metabolism*
  • Centromere Protein A / metabolism*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mitosis
  • Protein Interaction Mapping / methods*


  • Centromere Protein A