Methods to Rapidly Prepare Mammalian 26S Proteasomes for Biochemical Analysis

  • Chueh-Ling Kuo
  • Galen Andrew Collins
  • Alfred L. GoldbergEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1844)


Rapid, gentle isolation of 26S proteasomes from cells or tissues is an essential step for studies of the changes in proteasome activity and composition that can occur under different physiological or pathological conditions and in response to pharmacological agents. We present here three different approaches to affinity purify or to prepare proteasome-rich cell fractions. The first method uses affinity tags fused to proteasome subunits and has been useful in several cell lines for studies of proteasome structure by cryo-electron microscopy and composition by mass spectrometry. A second method uses the proteasome’s affinity for a ubiquitin-like (UBL) domain and can be used to purify these particles from any cell or tissue. This method does not require expression of a tagged subunit and has proven to be very useful to investigate how proteasomal activity changes in different physiological states (e.g., fasting or aging), with neurodegenerative diseases, and with drugs or hormones that cause subunit phosphorylation. A third, simple method that is based on the 26S proteasome’s high molecular weight (about 2.5 MDa) concentrates these particles greatly by differential centrifugation. This method maintains the association of proteasomes with ubiquitin (Ub) conjugates and many other loosely associated regulatory proteins and is useful to study changes in proteasome composition under different conditions.

Key words

26S proteasome Affinity-based purification Ubiquitin-like domain (UBL) Ubiquitin-interacting motif (UIM) Ubiquitin (Ub) Differential centrifugation 



The methods described here were developed through research support to our laboratory from the NIH-NIGMS (R01 GM51923), Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA-419143), and Project A.L.S (2015-06).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chueh-Ling Kuo
    • 1
  • Galen Andrew Collins
    • 1
  • Alfred L. Goldberg
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Cell BiologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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