Chromatin proteomics to study epigenetics – challenges and opportunities

Guido van Mierlo, Michiel Vermeulen
2020 Molecular & Cellular Proteomics  
Regulation of gene expression is essential for the functioning of all eukaryotic organisms. Understanding gene expression regulation requires determining which proteins interact with regulatory elements in chromatin. Mass spectrometry-based analysis of chromatin has emerged as a powerful tool to identify proteins associated with gene regulation, as it allows studying protein function and protein complex formation in their in vivo chromatin-bound context. Total chromatin isolated from cells can
more » ... e directly analysed using mass spectrometry or further fractionated into transcriptionally active and inactive chromatin prior to MS-based analysis. Newly formed chromatin that is assembled during DNA replication can also be specifically isolated and analysed. Furthermore, capturing specific chromatin domains facilitates the identification of previously unknown transcription factors interacting with these domains. Finally, in recent years, advances have been made towards identifying proteins that interact with a single genomic locus of interest. In this review, we highlight the power of chromatin proteomics approaches and how these provide complementary alternatives compared to conventional affinity purification methods. Furthermore, we discuss the biochemical challenges that should be addressed to consolidate and expand the role of chromatin proteomics as a key technology in the context of gene expression regulation and epigenetics research in health and disease.
doi:10.1074/mcp.r120.002208 pmid:33060119 pmcid:PMC7973309 fatcat:qi4xlgxsv5dodafhr5mnviipre