Techniques for Analyzing Protein-Protein and Protein-DNA Interactions

Content & Learning Objective

The ways in which individual proteins interact with one another or DNA form the basis for countless cellular processes. But how do you experimentally distinguish between a direct interaction and an indirect one? Which controls are indispensable for experiments? In this course, first you learn the basics of commonly used protein-protein and protein-DNA detection techniques, then take them a step further. The goal is to enable you to competently choose the right methods for your applications.

The theoretical part includes:


  • Enzyme assay/kinesis assay
  • ChIP
  • FRET
  • EMSA
  • Yeast/mammalian-2-yybrid
  • GST-pulldown

Common sources of error and how to avoid them are intensively discussed.

The practical part comprises:

Transfection of cells for expressing proteins

  • Performance of an immunoprecipitation
  • Detection and monitoring of an interaction using a western blot

Target Group

Technical and scientific staff with or without any prior knowledge of the subject


Associate professor Dr. Rüdiger Arnold  teaches at the University of Heidelberg as a lecturer in several life science education programs. Dr. Arnold studied biology in Giessen and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max - Planck - Institute of Physiology and Clinical Research in Bad Nauheim. Afterwards he joined the German Cancer Research Center and habilitated at the medical faculty of the Ruprecht-Karls - University of Heidelberg in immunology where he worked in the area of activation, differentiation, and apoptosis in leukocytes and lymphoma. Between 2011 and 2015 he headed the student research laboratory of the Heidelberg Life - Science Lab at the German Cancer Research Center.