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Anal Biochem. 2007 Apr 1;363(1):22-34. Epub 2006 Dec 20.

Histone H4 acetylation dynamics determined by stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture and mass spectrometry.

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Department of Chemistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


This paper describes an integrated approach that couples stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture to acetic acid-urea polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (AU-PAGE) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) for the quantitation and dynamics of histone H4 acetylation. The 697 acute lymphoblastic cell lines were grown in regular medium and in medium in which lysine was substituted with deuterium-labeled lysine. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity was inhibited by addition of the HDAC inhibitor depsipeptide to the culture medium for different exposure times. Histones were extracted from cells pooled from unlabeled, untreated cells and from labeled, treated cells, followed by AU-PAGE separation. Gel bands corresponding to different acetylation states of H4 were excised, in-gel digested with trypsin, and analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS. Detailed information was obtained for both the change of histone H4 acetylation specific to the N terminus and the global transformation of H4 from one acetylation state to another following treatment with the HDAC inhibitor depsipeptide. The kinetics of H4 acetylation was also assessed. This study provides a quantitative basis for developing potential therapies by using epigenetic regulation and the developed methodology can be applied to quantitation of change for other histone modifications induced by external stimuli.

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