Molecular and Cell Biology Methods for Fungi

Volume 638 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 211-224


A Detailed Protocol for Chromatin Immunoprecipitation in the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

  • Melanie GrablyAffiliated withThe Department of Biological Chemistry, The Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • , David EngelbergAffiliated withThe Department of Biological Chemistry, The Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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Critical cellular processes such as DNA replication, DNA damage repair, and transcription are mediated and regulated by DNA-binding proteins. Many efforts have been invested therefore in developing methods that monitor the dynamics of protein-DNA association. As older techniques such as DNA footprinting, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) could be applied mostly in vitro, the development of the chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) method, which allows quantitative measurement of protein-bound DNA most accurately in vivo, revolutionized our capabilities of understanding the mechanisms underlying the aforementioned processes. Furthermore, this powerful tool could be applied at the genomic-scale providing a global picture of the protein-DNA complexes at the entire genome.

The procedure is conceptually simple; involves rapid crosslinking of proteins to DNA by the addition of formaldehyde to the culture, shearing the DNA and immunoprecipitating the protein of interest while covalently bound to its DNA targets. Following decrosslinking, DNA that was coimmunoprecipitated could be amplified by PCR or could serve as a probe of a genomic microarray to identify all DNA fragments that were bound to the protein.

Although simple in principle, the method is not trivial to implement and the results might be misleading if proper controls are not included in the experiment. In this chapter, we provide therefore a highly detailed protocol of ChIP assay as is applied successfully in our laboratory. We pay special attention to describe every small detail, in order that any investigator could readily and successfully apply this important and powerful technology.

Key words

Saccharomyces cerevisiae Chromatin immunoprecipitation DNA binding proteins Transcription Heat shock