The functional form of elastin is a highly cross-linked polymer that organizes as sheets or fibers in the extracellular matrix. Purification of the mature protein is problematic because its insolubility precludes its isolation using standard wet-chemistry techniques. Instead, relatively harsh experimental approaches designed to remove nonelastin “contaminates” are employed to generate an insoluble product that has the amino acid composition expected of elastin. Although soluble, tropoelastin also presents problems for isolation and purification. The protein's extreme stickiness and susceptibility to proteolysis require careful attention during purification and in tropoelastin-based assays. This chapter describes the most common approaches for purification of elastin and for preparing solubilized forms of the protein.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Cell Biology
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameMethods in Cell Biology
ISSN (Print)0091-679X


  • Cross-links
  • Desmosine
  • Elastic fiber
  • Elastin
  • Microfibril


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