The chrop approach combines chip and mass spectrometry to dissect locus-specific proteomic landscapes of chromatin

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Chromatin is a highly dynamic nucleoprotein complex made of DNA and proteins that controls various DNA-dependent processes. Chromatin structure and function at specific regions is regulated by the local enrichment of histone post-translational modifications (hPTMs) and variants, chromatin-binding proteins, including transcription factors, and DNA methylation. The proteomic characterization of chromatin composition at distinct functional regions has been so far hampered by the lack of efficient protocols to enrich such domains at the appropriate purity and amount for the subsequent in-depth analysis by Mass Spectrometry (MS). We describe here a newly designed chromatin proteomics strategy, named ChroP (Chromatin Proteomics), whereby a preparative chromatin immunoprecipitation is used to isolate distinct chromatin regions whose features, in terms of hPTMs, variants and co-associated non-histonic proteins, are analyzed by MS. We illustrate here the setting up of ChroP for the enrichment and analysis of transcriptionally silent heterochromatic regions, marked by the presence of tri-methylation of lysine 9 on histone H3. The results achieved demonstrate the potential of ChroP in thoroughly characterizing the heterochromatin proteome and prove it as a powerful analytical strategy for understanding how the distinct protein determinants of chromatin interact and synergize to establish locus-specific structural and functional configurations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere51220
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Issue number86
Publication statusPublished - Apr 11 2014


  • Biochemistry
  • Chromatin
  • Chromatin immunoprecipitation
  • Chromatome
  • Epigenetics
  • Histone post-translational modifications (hPTMs)
  • Histone variants
  • hPTMs cross-talks
  • Issue 86
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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