Identification of methylation and acetylation sites on mouse histone H3 using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight and nanoelectrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry

Ross R. Cocklin, Mu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations


Covalent modifications to histone proteins are well documented in the literature. Specific modification sites are correlated with chromatin structure and transcriptional activity. The histone code is very complex, and includes several types of covalent modifications such as acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, and ubiquitination of at least 20 possible sites within the histone proteins. The final chromatin structure "read-out" is a result of the cooperation between these many sites of covalent modifications. Methylation and acetylation sites of histone H3 from many different species have been previously identified. However, a full post-translational modification status on histone H3 from mouse has not yet been reported. Here we demonstrate the use of high-accuracy matrix-assisted laser desorption/ ionization time-of-flight and nanoelectrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry to identify the methylation and acetylation sites of the mouse histone H3. In addition to the sites previously identified from other species, one unique methylation site, Lys-122, from mouse histone H3 was identified. The reported mass spectrometric method provides an efficient and sensitive way for analyzing post-translational modifications of histone proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-334
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Protein Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2003



  • Acetylation
  • Histone H3
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Methylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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