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Methods. 2011 Jul;54(3):304-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2011.02.010. Epub 2011 Mar 8.

Decoding the trans-histone crosstalk: methods to analyze H2B ubiquitination, H3 methylation and their regulatory factors.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, United States.


Regulation of histone H3 lysine 4 and 79 methylation by histone H2B lysine 123 monoubiquitination is an evolutionarily conserved trans-histone crosstalk mechanism, which demonstrates a functional role for histone ubiquitination within the cell. The regulatory enzymes, factors and processes involved in the establishment and dynamic modulation of these modifications and their genome-wide distribution patterns have been determined in many model systems. Rapid progress in understanding this trans-histone crosstalk has been made using the standard experimental tools of chromatin biology in budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), a highly tractable model organism. Here, we provide a set of modified and refined experimental procedures that can be used to gain further insights into the underlying mechanisms that govern this crosstalk in budding yeast. Importantly, the improved procedures and their underlying principles can also be applied to other model organisms. Methods presented here provide a rapid and efficient means to prepare enriched protein extracts to better preserve and assess the steady state levels of histones, non-histone proteins and their modifications. Improved chromatin immunoprecipitation and double immunoprecipitation protocols are provided to measure the occupancy and distribution of proteins and their modified forms at specific chromatin regions or loci. A quick and easy method to measure overall protein abundance and changes in protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions on native chromatin is also described.

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