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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Application of Celluspots peptide arrays for the analysis of the binding specificity of epigenetic reading domains to modified histone tails

Ina Bock1, Srikanth Kudithipudi1, Raluca Tamas1, Goran Kungulovski1, Arunkumar Dhayalan2 and Albert Jeltsch1*

Author Affiliations

1 Biochemistry Laboratory, School of Engineering and Science, Jacobs University Bremen, Campus Ring 1, 28759 Bremen, Germany

2 Department of Biotechnology, Pondicherry University, R.V. Nagar, Kalapet, Puducherry - 605014, India

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BMC Biochemistry 2011, 12:48  doi:10.1186/1471-2091-12-48

Published: 31 August 2011

Abstract

Background

Epigenetic reading domains are involved in the regulation of gene expression and chromatin state by interacting with histones in a post-translational modification specific manner. A detailed knowledge of the target modifications of reading domains, including enhancing and inhibiting secondary modifications, will lead to a better understanding of the biological signaling processes mediated by reading domains.

Results

We describe the application of Celluspots peptide arrays which contain 384 histone peptides carrying 59 post translational modifications in different combinations as an inexpensive, reliable and fast method for initial screening for specific interactions of reading domains with modified histone peptides. To validate the method, we tested the binding specificities of seven known epigenetic reading domains on Celluspots peptide arrays, viz. the HP1ß and MPP8 Chromo domains, JMJD2A and 53BP1 Tudor domains, Dnmt3a PWWP domain, Rag2 PHD domain and BRD2 Bromo domain. In general, the binding results agreed with literature data with respect to the primary specificity of the reading domains, but in almost all cases we obtained additional new information concerning the influence of secondary modifications surrounding the target modification.

Conclusions

We conclude that Celluspots peptide arrays are powerful screening tools for studying the specificity of putative reading domains binding to modified histone peptides.