Decoding Histones: Detecting Chromatin Modifications the Simple Western Way

Your guide to detecting changes in histone acetylation and methylation

Underlying eukaryotic transcriptional regulation is an additional layer of control, post-translational modifications of histones that can silence or activate gene expression. Dysregulation of histone modifications underlies disease onset and pathogenesis across a range of disorders, including cancer, neurodegeneration, addiction and obesity. Chromatin-modifying drugs offer novel therapeutic potential for a wide variety of diseases. At the center of this epigenetic research is a need to be able to accurately identify and quantify histone changes to begin to unlock the histone code.

In a recent paper in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, Zachary Bailey and colleagues from Virginia Tech measured histone acetylation in tissue isolated from the prefrontal cortex tissue of Sprague Dawley rats in a model of blast induced neurotrauma. Using Wes, they detected no changes in total histone protein expression levels, however, acetylation levels of histone H2b, H3, and H4 were decreased following injury.

Read the full paper here: Astrocyte Reactivity Following Blast Exposure Involves Aberrant Histone Acetylation

In a cell culture model, Melanie McConnell and colleagues from Université Paris Diderot, used NanoPro 1000 to detect acetylated and non-acetylated isoforms of the stem cell regulator PLZF in cell extracts and measure changes in levels of PLZF acetylated isoforms in the presence of HDAC3 and SIRT1.

Read the full paper here: Post transcriptional control of the epigenetic stem cell regulator PLZF by sirtuin and HDAC deacetylases

Alec Simmonds and Frank Seebacher, The University of Sydney, used Wes to identify and quantify acetylated lysine in their study of exercise-induced skeletal muscle plasticity. In their study, they quantified Acetyl-H3K9 expression in trichostatin A(TSA)-treated fish. TSA treatment increased slow myosin heavy chain expression in nonexercised control fish but not in exercise-trained fish, whereas the same treatment increased acetyl-H3K9 in both exercised-trained and control fish.

Read the full paper here: Histone deacetylase activity modulates exercise-induced skeletal muscle plasticity in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Want to learn more about Wes?

Watch the video and see how Wes can process up to 25 samples in 3 hours. The short video shows the step by step process, from sample loading to signal detection.

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