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Methods Mol Biol. 2012;917:279-92. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-992-1_17.

Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of Xenopus embryos.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Nijmegen Center of Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) is a powerful technique to study epigenetic regulation and transcription factor binding events in the nucleus. It is based on immune-affinity capture of epitopes that have been cross-linked to genomic DNA in vivo. A readout of the extent to which the epitope is associated with particular genomic regions can be obtained by quantitative PCR (ChIP-qPCR), microarray hybridization (ChIP-chip), or deep sequencing (ChIP-seq). ChIP can be used for molecular and quantitative analyses of histone modifications, transcription factors, and elongating RNA polymerase II at specific loci. It can also be applied to assess the cellular state of transcriptional activation or repression as a predictor of the cells' capabilities and potential. Another possibility is to employ ChIP to characterize genomes, as histone modifications and binding events occur at specific and highly characteristic genomic elements and locations. This chapter provides a step-by-step protocol of ChIP using early Xenopus embryos and discusses potential pitfalls and other issues relevant for successful probing of protein-genome interactions by ChIP-qPCR and ChIP-seq.

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