Document Type

Book Chapter


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


1.4 CHEMICAL SCIENCES, 1.6 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, Biochemistry and molecular biology, 3.3 HEALTH SCIENCES, Nutrition, Dietetics, Public and environmental health

Publication Details

Series: Methods in Molecular Biology


All cells contain proteases which hydrolyze the peptide bonds between amino acids in a protein backbone. Typically, proteases are prevented from nonspecific proteolysis by regulation and by their physical separation into different subcellular compartments; however, this segregation is not retained during cell lysis, which is the initial step in any protein isolation procedure. Prevention of proteolysis during protein purification often takes the form of a two-pronged approach; firstly inhibition of proteolysis in situ, followed by the early separation of the protease from the protein of interest via chromatographical purification. Protease inhibitors are routinely used to limit the effect of the proteases before they are physically separated from the protein of interest via column chromatography. Here, commonly used approaches to reducing or avoiding proteolysis during protein purification and subsequent chromatography are reviewed.