A range of acyl-lysine (acyl-Lys) modifications on histones and other proteins have been mapped over the past decade but for most, their functional and structural significance remains poorly characterized. One limitation in the study of acyl-Lys containing proteins is the challenge of producing them or their mimics in site-specifically modified forms. We describe a cysteine alkylation-based method to install hydrazide mimics of acyl-Lys post-translational modifications (PTMs) on proteins. We have applied this method to install mimics of acetyl-Lys, 2-hydroxyisobutyryl-Lys, and ubiquityl-Lys that could be recognized selectively by relevant acyl-Lys modification antibodies. The acyl-Lys modified histone H3 proteins were reconstituted into nucleosomes to study nucleosome dynamics and stability as a function of modification type and site. We also installed a ubiquityl-Lys mimic in histone H2B and generated a diubiquitin analog, both of which could be cleaved by deubiquitinating enzymes. Nucleosomes containing the H2B ubiquityl-Lys mimic were used to study the SAGA deubiquitinating module's molecular recognition. These results suggest that acyl-Lys mimics offer a relatively simple and promising strategy to study the role of acyl-Lys modifications in the function, structure, and regulation of proteins and protein complexes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry