Post-translational lysine acetylation of histone tails affects both chromatin accessibility and recruitment of multifunctional bromodomain-containing proteins for modulating transcription. The bromodomain- and PHD finger-containing transcription factor (BPTF) regulates transcription but has also been implicated in high gene expression levels in a variety of cancers. In this report, the histone variant H2A.Z, which replaces H2A in chromatin, is evaluated for its affinity for BPTF with a specific recognition pattern of acetylated lysine residues of the N-terminal tail region. Although BPTF immunoprecipitates H2A.Z-containing nucleosomes, a direct interaction with its bromodomain has not been reported. Using protein-observed fluorine nuclear magnetic resonance (PrOF NMR) spectroscopy, we identified a diacetylation of H2A.Z on lysine residues 4 and 11, with the highest affinity for BPTF with a Kd of 780 μM. A combination of subsequent 1H NMR Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill experiments and photo-cross-linking further confirmed the specificity of the diacetylation pattern at lysines 4 and 11. Because of an adjacent PHD domain, this transient interaction may contribute to a higher-affinity bivalent interaction. Further evaluation of specificity toward a set of bromodomains, including two BET bromodomains (Brd4 and BrdT) and two Plasmodium falciparum bromodomains, resulted in one midmicromolar affinity binder, PfGCN5 (Kd = 650 μM). With these biochemical experiments, we have identified a direct interaction of histone H2A.Z with bromodomains with a specific acetylation pattern that further supports the role of H2A.Z in epigenetic regulation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
*E-mail: email@example.com. ORCID William C. K. Pomerantz: 0000-0002-0163-4078 Funding This project was in part funded by National Science Foundation CAREER Award CHE-1352091, American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant 15SDG25710427, the University of Pittsburgh, and National Institutes of Health Grant 1R01GM123234-01. Notes The authors declare no competing financial interest.