The contribution of mass spectrometry-based proteomics to understanding epigenetics

Roberta Noberini, Gianluca Sigismondo, Tiziana Bonaldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chromatin is a macromolecular complex composed of DNA and histones that regulate gene expression and nuclear architecture. The concerted action of DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications and chromatin-associated proteins control the epigenetic regulation of the genome, ultimately determining cell fate and the transcriptional outputs of differentiated cells. Deregulation of this complex machinery leads to disease states, and exploiting epigenetic drugs is becoming increasingly attractive for therapeutic intervention. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics emerged as a powerful tool complementary to genomic approaches for epigenetic research, allowing the unbiased and comprehensive analysis of histone post-translational modifications and the characterization of chromatin constituents and chromatin-associated proteins. Furthermore, MS holds great promise for epigenetic biomarker discovery and represents a useful tool for deconvolution of epigenetic drug targets. Here, we will provide an overview of the applications of MS-based proteomics in various areas of chromatin biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-445
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • biomarker
  • chemical proteomics
  • chromatin
  • combinatorial
  • drug target deconvolution
  • epigenetics
  • histone post-translational modification
  • mass spectrometry
  • proteomics
  • quantitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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