Cell Fractionation of U937 Cells in the Absence of High-speed Centrifugation.


Department of Basic and Clinical Sciences, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; [Email]


In this protocol we detail a method to obtain subcellular fractions of U937 cells without the use of ultracentrifugation or indiscriminate detergents. This method utilizes hypotonic buffers, digitonin, mechanical lysis and differential centrifugation to isolate the cytoplasm, mitochondria and plasma membrane. The process can be scaled to accommodate the needs of researchers, is inexpensive and straightforward. This method will allow researchers to determine protein localization in cells without specialized centrifuges and without the use of commercial kits, both of which can be prohibitively expensive. We have successfully used this method to separate cytosolic, plasma membrane and mitochondrial proteins in the human monocyte cell line U937.