Effective quenchers are required to eliminate the interference of substrate: Cofactor binding in the HAT scintillation proximity assay

Liza Ngo, Jiang Wu, Chao Yang, Yujun George Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) mediate the transfer of an acetyl group from the cofactor, acetyl-CoA, to the side chain amino group of specific lysines in diverse protein substrates, most notably nuclear histones. The deregulation of HATs is connected to a number of disease states. Reliable and rapid biochemical assays for HATs are critical for understanding biological functions of protein acetylation, as well as for screening small-molecule inhibitors of HAT enzymes. In this report, we present a scintillation proximity assay (SPA) for the measurement of HAT enzymatic activities. The acetyl donor was [3H]Ac-CoA, and a biotin-modified histone peptide served as the HAT substrate. After the HAT reaction, streptavidin-coated beads were added to induce proximity of acetylated substrate to the scintillant molecules. However, we observed strong nonspecific binding between the cofactor and the histone peptide substrates, which adversely complicated the SPA performance. To prevent this problem, a set of chemical agents were evaluated to eliminate the cofactor-substrate interaction, thus providing reliable SPA readings. With optimization, the SPA showed consistent and robust performance for HAT activity measurement and HAT inhibitor evaluation. Overall, this mix-and-measure assay does not require any washing procedure, can be utilized in the microplate format, and is well suited for high-throughput screening of HAT chemical modulators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-220
Number of pages11
JournalAssay and Drug Development Technologies
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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