Product(s) used in this publication: Histone Code Peptides
Lysine acetyltransferases (KATs) play a unique role in regulating gene transcription as well as maintaining the epigenetic state of the cell. KATs such as Gcn5 and p300/CBP can modify multiple residues on a single histone; however, order and specificity of acetylation can be altered by factors such as histone chaperones, subunit proteins or external stimulus. While the importance of acetylation is well documented, it has been difficult to quantitatively measure the specificity and selectivity of acetylation at different residues within a histone. In this paper, we demonstrate a label-free quantitative high throughput mass spectrometry-based assay capable of quantitatively monitoring all known acetylation sites of H3 simultaneously. Using this assay, we are able to analyze the steady-state enzyme kinetics of Gcn5, an evolutionarily conserved KAT. In doing so, we measured Gcn5-mediated acetylation at six residues (K14>K9 ≈ K23> K18> K27 ≈ K36) and the catalytic efficiency (k(cat)/K(m)) for K9, K14, K18, and K23 as well as the nonenzymatic acetylation rate. We observed selectivity differences of up to -4 kcal/mol between K14 and K18, the highest and lowest measurable k(cat)/K(m). These data provide a first look at quantitating the specificity and selectivity of multiple lysines on a single substrate (H3) by Gcn5.