With the explosive growth in Epigenetics research in recent years, new techniques have come along that help clarify the relationships between proteins (or protein complexes) and chromosomal DNA. Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP) technology allows the dynamic visualization of chromosomal proteins in their natural context.

June’s issue of CSH Protocols brings valuable new methods for analyzing post-translational modifications of chromatin proteins. Robert Feil’s group have written up a technique for ChIP on unfixed chromatin. Using “native” unfixed chromatin is favorable over using fixed, cross-linked chromatin because it results in higher yields of material for analysis. The same group provides four PCR-based methods for analyzing chromatin once it’s precipitated.

Previous issues of CSH Protocols have included protocols for ChIP of Protein Complexes in fixed cultured cells and two methods for ChIP in fixed yeast (here and here).

For a superb overview of the concepts of Epigenetics, try the new textbook edited by David Allis, Thomas Jenuwein and Danny Reinberg.