Technological and methodological advances in the techniques of structural and biological studies of proteins have reduced the required amount of sample. In conjunction with these advances, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) has emerged as a technique of high utility for the purification of complex molecules. Using a combination of size-exclusion and reversed-phase HPLC and ionic buffers containing sodium dodecyl sulfate, the red cell membrane-associated high-molecular-weight polypeptide spectrin and its subunits have been purified. The system described in this paper is fast, reproducible and quantitative. © 1986.