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Tracking the Dynamic Histone Methylation of H3K27 in Live Cancer Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 08.12.2021, 18:39 authored by Ya Gong, Chujun Wei, Leonardo Cheng, Fengyi Ma, Shaoying Lu, Qin Peng, Longwei Liu, Yingxiao Wang
Histone methylations play a crucial role in chromatin remodeling and genome regulations. However, there is a lack of tools to visualize these histone modifications with high spatiotemporal resolutions in live cells. We have developed a biosensor based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and incorporated it into nucleosomes, capable of monitoring the trimethylation of H3K27 (H3K27me3) in live cells. We also revealed that the performance of the FRET biosensor can be significantly improved by adjusting the linkers within the biosensor. An improved biosensor enables the live-cell imaging of different histone methylation status, induced by the suppressive H3.3K27M or existing in breast cancer cells with varying genetic backgrounds. We have further applied the biosensor to reveal the dynamic coupling between H3K27me3 changes and caspase activity representing the initiation of apoptosis in cancer cells by imaging both H3K27me3 and caspase activity simultaneously in the same live cells. Thus, this new FRET biosensor can provide a powerful tool to visualize the epigenetic regulation in live cells with high spatial temporal resolutions.

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