Biochemistry Publications


Systematic Identification of Methyllysine-Driven Interactions for Histone and Nonhistone Targets

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Journal of Proteome Research





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An important issue in epigenetic research is to understand how the numerous methylation marks associated with histone and certain nonhistone proteins are recognized and interpreted by the hundreds of chromatin-binding modules (CBMs) in a cell to control chromatin state, gene expression, and other cellular functions. We have assembled a peptide chip that represents known and putative lysine methylation marks on histones and p53 and probed the chip for binding to a group of CBMs to obtain a comprehensive interaction network mediated by lysine methylation. Interactions revealed by the peptide array screening were validated by in-solution binding assays. This study not only recapitulated known interactions but also uncovered new ones. A novel heterochromatin protein 1 beta (HP1β) chromodomain-binding site on histone H3, H3K23me, was discovered from the peptide array screen and subsequently verified by mass spectrometry. Data from peptide pull-down and colocalization in cells suggest that, besides the H3K9me mark, H3K23me may play a role in facilitating the recruitment of HP1β to the heterochromatin. Extending the peptide array and mass spectrometric approach presented here to more histone marks and CBMs would eventually afford a comprehensive specificity and interaction map to aid epigenetic studies.