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J Chromatogr B Biomed Sci Appl. 1999 Feb 5;722(1-2):89-102.

Subcellular fractionation, electromigration analysis and mapping of organelles.

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Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, IMP, Vienna, Austria.


Subcellular fractionation has provided the means required to analyze the composition and properties of purified cellular elements. In particular, subcellular fractionation has helped to define membrane boundaries and became necessary for the development of cell-free assays that reconstitute complicated cellular processes. Although cell fractionation techniques have improved over the last decades the purification of organelles to homogeneity is still a barely accessible goal in cell biology. In this article, we will first briefly review the basic principles of subcellular fractionation, and the establishment of different organelle fractions by density centrifugation, using tissue culture cells as a paradigm. Then we will discuss some of the intrinsic problems and will compare gradient purification of cellular extracts with electromigration analysis. Finally, we will describe alternative approaches, such as immunoisolation and flow cytometry to purify organelles from tissue culture cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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