Purification of TET Proteins

Methods Mol Biol. 2021:2272:225-237. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1294-1_13.


The 5-methylcytosine (5mC) oxidation pathway mediated by TET proteins involves step-wise oxidation of 5mC to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), 5-formylcytosine (5fC), and 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC). 5fC and 5caC can be removed from DNA by base excision repair and the completion of this pathway results in "demethylation" of 5mC by converting the modified base back into cytosine. In vitro studies with TET proteins aimed at analyzing their DNA substrate specificities and their activity within defined chromatin templates are relatively limited. Here we describe purification methods for mammalian TET proteins based on expression in insect cells or in 293T cells. We also briefly summarize a method that can be used to monitor 5-methylcytosine oxidase activity of the purified TET proteins in vitro.

Keywords: 5-methylcytosine oxidation; DNA demethylation; Protein purification; TET proteins.

MeSH terms

  • 5-Methylcytosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • 5-Methylcytosine / chemistry*
  • DNA / analysis*
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Humans
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / genetics
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / isolation & purification*
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • 5-hydroxymethylcytosine
  • 5-Methylcytosine
  • DNA
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • TET1 protein, human