Cytokines of the interleukin 12 (IL-12) family are assembled combinatorially from shared α and β subunits. A common theme is that human IL-12 family α subunits remain incompletely structured in isolation until they pair with a designate β subunit. Accordingly, chaperones need to support and control specific assembly processes. It remains incompletely understood, which chaperones are involved in IL-12 family biogenesis. Here, we site-specifically introduce photocrosslinking amino acids into the IL-12 and IL-23 α subunits (IL-12α and IL-23α) for stabilization of transient chaperone–client complexes for mass spectrometry.