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  1. Abstract

    Histone acetyltransferases (HATs, also known as lysine acetyltransferases, KATs) catalyze acetylation of their cognate protein substrates using acetyl‐CoA (Ac‐CoA) as a cofactor and are involved in various physiological and pathological processes. Advances in mass spectrometry‐based proteomics have allowed the discovery of thousands of acetylated proteins and the specific acetylated lysine sites. However, due to the rapid dynamics and functional redundancy of HAT activities, and the limitation of using antibodies to capture acetylated lysines, it is challenging to systematically and precisely define both the substrates and sites directly acetylated by a given HAT. Here, we describe a chemoproteomic approach to identify and profile protein substrates of individual HAT enzymes on the proteomic scale. The approach involves protein engineering to enlarge the Ac‐CoA binding pocket of the HAT of interest, such that a mutant form is generated that can use functionalized acyl‐CoAs as a cofactor surrogate to bioorthogonally label its protein substrates. The acylated protein substrates can then be chemoselectively conjugated either with a fluorescent probe (for imaging detection) or with a biotin handle (for streptavidin pulldown and chemoproteomic identification). This modular chemical biology approach has been successfully implemented to identify protein substrates of p300, GCN5, and HAT1, and it is expected that this method can be applied to profile and identify the sub‐acetylomes of many other HAT enzymes. © 2022 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

    Basic Protocol 1: Labeling HAT protein substrates with azide/alkyne‐biotin

    Alternate Protocol: Labeling protein substrates of HATs with azide/alkyne‐TAMRA for in‐gel visualization

    Support Protocol 1: Expression and purification of HAT mutants

    Support Protocol 2: Synthesis of Ac‐CoA surrogates

    Basic Protocol 2: Streptavidin enrichment of biotinylated HAT substrates

    Basic Protocol 3: Chemoproteomic identification of HAT substrates

    Basic Protocol 4: Validation of specific HAT substrates with western blotting

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  2. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Short-chain acylations of lysine residues in eukaryotic proteins are recognized as essential posttranslational chemical modifications (PTMs) that regulate cellular processes from transcription, cell cycle, metabolism, to signal transduction. Lysine butyrylation was initially discovered as a normal straight chain butyrylation (Knbu). Here we report its structural isomer, branched chain butyrylation, i.e. lysine isobutyrylation (Kibu), existing as a new PTM on nuclear histones. Uniquely, isobutyryl-CoA is derived from valine catabolism and branched chain fatty acid oxidation which is distinct from the metabolism of n-butyryl-CoA. Several histone acetyltransferases were found to possess lysine isobutyryltransferase activity in vitro, especially p300 and HAT1. Transfection and western blot experiments showed that p300 regulated histone isobutyrylation levels in the cell. We resolved the X-ray crystal structures of HAT1 in complex with isobutyryl-CoA that gleaned an atomic level insight into HAT-catalyzed isobutyrylation. RNA-Seq profiling revealed that isobutyrate greatly affected the expression of genes associated with many pivotal biological pathways. Together, our findings identify Kibu as a novel chemical modification mark in histones and suggest its extensive role in regulating epigenetics and cellular physiology. 
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  3. Abstract

    The side‐chain acetylation of lysine residues in histones and non‐histone proteins catalyzed by lysine acetyltransferases (KATs) represents a widespread posttranslational modification (PTM) in the eukaryotic cells. Lysine acetylation plays regulatory roles in major cellular pathways inside and outside the nucleus. In particular, KAT‐mediated histone acetylation has an effect on all DNA‐templated epigenetic processes. Aberrant expression and activation of KATs are commonly observed in human diseases, especially cancer. In recent years, the study of KAT functions in biology and disease has greatly benefited from chemical biology tools and strategies. In this Review, we present the past and current accomplishments in the design of chemical biology approaches for the interrogation of KAT activity and function. These methods and probes are classified according to their mechanisms of action and respective applications, with both strengths and limitations discussed.

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