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LC‐MALDI‐TOF ISD MS analysis is an effective, simple and rapid method of investigation for histones characterization: Application to EBV lymphoblastoid cell lines
Journal of Mass Spectrometry  (IF1.982),  Pub Date : 2021-02-20, DOI: 10.1002/jms.4712
Selene De Benedittis, Marco Gaspari, Angela Magariello, Patrizia Spadafora, Luigi Citrigno, Nelide Romeo, Antonio Qualtieri

This contribution is the result of our progressive engagement to develop and to apply a top‐down liquid chromatography (LC) matrix‐assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) time‐of‐flight (TOF) (LC‐MALDI‐TOF) analysis for the histone post‐translational modifications (PTMs) and variants characterization, mainly in order to provide comprehensive and fast results. The histone post‐translational modifications and the differential expression of the histone variants play an essential role both in the DNA packaging mechanism in chromosomes and in the regulation of gene expression in different cellular processes, also in response to molecular agents of environmental origin. This epigenetic mechanism is widely studied in different field such as cellular differentiation, development and in the understanding of mechanisms underlying diseases. The characterization of histone PTMs has traditionally performed by antibodies‐based assay, but immunological methods have significant limits, and today systems that use mass spectrometry are increasingly employed. We evaluated an in‐source decay (ISD) analysis for the histone investigation on human lymphoblastoid cells, and by this approach, we were able to identify and quantify several PTMs such as the di‐methylation in the lysine 20 and the acetylation in the lysine 16 in H4 and the mono‐methylation, di‐methylation and trimethylations at K9 of the histone H3.1. Moreover, we detected and quantified in the same H2B spectrum the prevalent H2B 1C/2E type but also the minor H2B 1D, 1M and 1B/1L/1N, 1O/2F, 1J/1K variants. In this work, we show that MALDI‐ISD represents an excellent methodology to obtain global information on histone PTMs and variants from cells in culture, with rapidity and simplicity of execution. Finally, this is a useful approach to get label‐free relative quantitative data of histone variants and PTMs.