Cellular Membrane Affinity Chromatography Columns to Identify Specialized Plant Metabolites Interacting with Immobilized Tropomyosin Kinase Receptor B

Arituluk Z. C., Adhikari B., Maitra U., Goodman C., Ciesla L. M.

JOVE-JOURNAL OF VISUALIZED EXPERIMENTS, vol.2022, no.179, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2022 Issue: 179
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.3791/63118
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, EMBASE, INSPEC, MEDLINE
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Chemicals synthesized by plants, fungi, bacteria, and marine invertebrates have been a rich source of new drug hits and leads. Medicines such as statins, penicillin, paclitaxel, rapamycin, or artemisinin, commonly used in medical practice, have been first identified and isolated from natural products. However, the identification and isolation of biologically active specialized metabolites from natural sources is a challenging and time-consuming process. Traditionally, individual metabolites are isolated and purified from complex mixtures, following the extraction of biomass. Subsequently, the isolated molecules are tested in functional assays to verify their biological activity. Here we present the use of cellular membrane affinity chromatography (CMAC) columns to identify biologically active compounds directly from complex mixtures. CMAC columns allow for the identification of compounds interacting with immobilized functional transmembrane proteins (TMPs) embedded in their native phospholipid bilayer environment. This is a targeted approach, which requires knowing the TMP whose activity one intends to modulate with the newly identified small molecule drug candidate. In this protocol, we present an approach to prepare CMAC columns with immobilized tropomyosin kinase receptor B (TrkB), which has emerged as a viable target for drug discovery for numerous nervous system disorders. In this article, we provide a detailed protocol to assemble the CMAC column with immobilized TrkB receptors using neuroblastoma cell lines overexpressing TrkB receptors. We further present the approach to investigate the functionality of the column and its use in the identification of specialized plant metabolites interacting with TrkB receptors.