UNIT 9.9 Overview of Affinity Tags for Protein Purification

  1. Michelle E. Kimple1,
  2. John Sondek2

Published Online: 1 SEP 2004

DOI: 10.1002/0471140864.ps0909s36

Current Protocols in Protein Science

Current Protocols in Protein Science

How to Cite

Kimple, M. E. and Sondek, J. 2004. Overview of Affinity Tags for Protein Purification. Current Protocols in Protein Science. 36:9.9:9.9.1–9.9.19.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina

  2. 2

    University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 SEP 2004
  2. Published Print: MAY 2004

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (24 SEP 2013)


Addition of an affinity tag is a useful method for differentiating recombinant proteins expressed in bacterial and eukaryotic expression systems from the background of total cellular proteins, and for detecting protein-protein interactions. This overview describes the historical basis for the development of affinity tags, affinity tags that are commonly used today, how to choose an appropriate affinity tag for a particular purpose, and several recently developed affinity tag technologies that may prove useful in the near future.


  • protein purification;
  • protein detection;
  • affinity chromatography;
  • affinity tag;
  • epitope tag