Post-translational modifications (PTMs) (e.g., acetylation, methylation, and phosphorylation) play crucial roles in regulating the diverse protein-protein interactions involved in essentially every cellular process. While significant progress has been made to detect PTMs, profiling protein-protein interactions mediated by these PTMs remains a challenge. Here, we report a method that combines a photo-cross-linking strategy with stable isotope labeling in cell culture (SILAC)-based quantitative mass spectrometry to identify PTM-dependent protein-protein interactions. To develop and apply this approach, we focused on trimethylated lysine-4 at the histone H3 N-terminus (H3K4Me(3)), a PTM linked to actively transcribed gene promoters. Our approach identified proteins previously known to recognize this modification and MORC3 as a new protein that binds H3M4Me(3). This study indicates that our cross-linking-assisted and SILAC-based protein identification (CLASPI) approach can be used to profile protein-protein interactions mediated by PTMs, such as lysine methylation.
© 2012 American Chemical Society