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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2008 Aug;19(4):324-30. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2008.06.002. Epub 2008 Jul 16.

Mapping multiprotein complexes by affinity purification and mass spectrometry.

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Proteomic Mass Spectrometry, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK.


The combination of affinity purification and tandem mass spectrometry (MS) has emerged as a powerful approach to delineate biological processes. In particular, the use of epitope tags has allowed this approach to become scaleable and has bypassed difficulties associated with generation of antibodies. Single epitope tags and tandem affinity purification (TAP) tags have been used to systematically map protein complexes generating protein interaction data at a near proteome-wide scale. Recent developments in the design of tags, optimisation of purification conditions, experimental design and data analysis have greatly improved the sensitivity and specificity of this approach. Concomitant developments in MS, including high accuracy and high-throughput instrumentation together with quantitative MS methods, have facilitated large-scale and comprehensive analysis of multiprotein complexes.

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