Enhanced top-down characterization of histone post-translational modifications
1 Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 902 Battelle Blvd, Richland, WA 99352, USA
2 Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 457 Zhongshan Road, Dalian, Liaoning 116023, China
3 Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 902 Battelle Blvd, Richland, WA 99352, USA
Genome Biology 2012, 13:R86 doi:10.1186/gb-2012-13-10-r86Published: 3 October 2012
Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of core histones work synergistically to fine tune chromatin structure and function, generating a so-called histone code that can be interpreted by a variety of chromatin interacting proteins. We report a novel online two-dimensional liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (2D LC-MS/MS) platform for high-throughput and sensitive characterization of histone PTMs at the intact protein level. The platform enables unambiguous identification of 708 histone isoforms from a single 2D LC-MS/MS analysis of 7.5 µg purified core histones. The throughput and sensitivity of comprehensive histone modification characterization is dramatically improved compared with more traditional platforms.