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Protein Expr Purif. 1992 Aug;3(4):263-81.

Immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography.

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Division of Biotechnology, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721.


The introduction of immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography, directed toward specific protein side chains, has opened a new dimension in protein purification. This review covers the principles and practice of IMAC that can be performed under very mild, nondenaturing conditions. IMAC is particularly suitable for preparative group fractionation of complex extracts and biofluids, but can also be used in high-performance mode: "HP-IMAC." Single-step purifications of 1000-fold or more may allow isolation of a particular protein from crude extracts on a milligram or gram scale. With respect to separation efficiency, IMAC compares well with biospecific affinity chromatography, and the immobilized metal ion ligand complexes are more likely to withstand wear and tear than are antibodies or enzymes. The enormous potential of IMAC and related metal affinity techniques is only in the initial stages of being explored and exploited. Synthesis of IMA adsorbents, and various modes of performing IMAC are discussed and exemplified with selected applications. Advantages and disadvantages are listed. Effective means of counteracting the few undesirable effects that can occur are suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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