Top-down and middle-down protein analysis reveals that intact and clipped human histones differ in post-translational modification patterns

Andrey Tvardovskiy, Krzysztof Wrzesinski, Simone Sidoli, Stephen J. Fey, Adelina Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Ole N. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histone proteins play a fundamental role in regulation of DNA-templated processes. There is also growing evidence that proteolytic cleavage of histone N-terminal tails, known as histone clipping, influences nucleosome dynamics and functional properties. Using top-down and middle-down protein analysis by mass spectrometry, we report histone H2B and H3 N-terminal tail clipping in human hepatocytes and demonstrate a relationship between clipping and coexisting PTMs of histone H3. Histones H2B and H3 undergo proteolytic processing in primary human hepatocytes and the hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2/ C3A when grown in spheroid (3D) culture, but not in a flat (2D) culture. Using tandem mass spectrometry we localized four different clipping sites in H3 and one clipping site in H2B. We show that in spheroid culture clipped H3 proteoforms are mainly represented by canonical histone H3, whereas in primary hepatocytes over 90% of clipped H3 correspond to the histone variant H3.3. Comprehensive analysis of histone H3 modifications revealed a series of PTMs, including K14me1, K27me2/K27me3, and K36me1/ me2, which are differentially abundant in clipped and intact H3. Analysis of co-existing PTMs revealed negative crosstalk between H3K36 methylation and H3K23 acetylation in clipped H3. Our data provide the first evidence of histone clipping in human hepatocytes and demonstrate that clipped H3 carry distinct co-existing PTMs different from those in intact H3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3142-3153
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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