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Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2017 Mar 1;2017(3). doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot091611.

Improved Tandem Affinity Purification Tag and Methods for Isolation of Proteins and Protein Complexes from Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037.
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037


The tandem affinity purification (TAP) method uses an epitope that contains two different affinity purification tags separated by a site-specific protease site to isolate a protein rapidly and easily. Proteins purified via the TAP tag are eluted under mild conditions, allowing them to be used for structural and biochemical analyses. The original TAP tag contains a calmodulin-binding peptide and the IgG-binding domain from protein A separated by a tobacco etch virus (TEV) protease cleavage site. After capturing the Protein A epitope on an IgG resin, bound proteins are released by incubation with the TEV protease and then isolated on a calmodulin matrix in the presence of calcium; elution from this resin is achieved by chelating calcium with EGTA. However, because the robustness of the calmodulin-binding step in this procedure is highly variable, we replaced the calmodulin-binding peptide with three copies of the FLAG epitope, (3× FLAG)-TEV-Protein A, which can be isolated using an anti-FLAG resin. Elution from this matrix is achieved in the presence of an excess of a 3× FLAG peptide. In addition to allowing proteins to be released under mild conditions, elution by the 3× FLAG peptide adds an extra layer of specificity to the TAP procedure, because it liberates only FLAG-tagged proteins.

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