Purification of RanGDP, RanGTP, and RanGMPPNP by ion exchange chromatography

Niloufar Bibak, Rachelle M J Paul, Douglas M. Freymann, Nabeel R. Yaseen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Ran is a small GTPase that cycles between a guanosine diphosphate (GDP)-bound form (RanGDP) and a guanosine triphosphate (GTP)-bound form (RanGTP) and plays important roles in nuclear transport and mitosis. For studies of Ran function and its interactions with partner proteins, pure RanGDP and RanGTP complexes are critical. Ran complexed with the nonhydrolyzable GTP analog, GMPPNP (RanGMPPNP), is used instead of RanGTP when inhibition of hydrolysis is required. In this study, we demonstrate that the binding of Ran to a UNO Q ion exchange column is remarkably sensitive to small shifts in MgCl2 concentration, and we use this property to purify recombinant RanGTP, RanGMPPNP, and RanGDP complexes. At 10 mM MgCl2, Ran was found predominantly in the flow-through and, thus, was separated from the vast majority of bacterial proteins. After reducing the concentration of MgCl2 to 5 mM, further purification of RanGTP, RanGMPPNP, and RanGDP was achieved by loading onto ion exchange columns and elution with an NaCl gradient. Purity of the resulting preparations was confirmed by releasing the bound nucleotide and checking it against a known nucleotide by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). To further confirm the purity and function of the Ran preparations, appropriate protein-binding, enzymatic, and nuclear import assays were carried out. These methods should facilitate studies of cellular processes involving Ran by providing pure functional Ran-nucleotide complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004


  • GTPase
  • Importin
  • Karyopherin
  • Magnesium
  • Nuclear import
  • Nuclear transport
  • Ran
  • RanGAP1
  • RanGDP
  • RanGTP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Purification of RanGDP, RanGTP, and RanGMPPNP by ion exchange chromatography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this