Structural insights into recognition of acetylated histone ligands by the BRPF1 bromodomain

FEBS Lett. 2014 Nov 3;588(21):3844-54. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2014.09.028. Epub 2014 Sep 30.


Bromodomain-PHD finger protein 1 (BRPF1) is part of the MOZ HAT complex and contains a unique combination of domains typically found in chromatin-associated factors, which include plant homeodomain (PHD) fingers, a bromodomain and a proline-tryptophan-tryptophan-proline (PWWP) domain. Bromodomains are conserved structural motifs generally known to recognize acetylated histones, and the BRPF1 bromodomain preferentially selects for H2AK5ac, H4K12ac and H3K14ac. We solved the X-ray crystal structures of the BRPF1 bromodomain in complex with the H2AK5ac and H4K12ac histone peptides. Site-directed mutagenesis on residues in the BRPF1 bromodomain-binding pocket was carried out to investigate the contribution of specific amino acids on ligand binding. Our results provide critical insights into the molecular mechanism of ligand binding by the BRPF1 bromodomain, and reveal that ordered water molecules are an essential component driving ligand recognition.

Keywords: Bromodomain-PHD finger protein 1; Circular dichroism; Epigenetics; Isothermal titration calorimetry; Site-directed mutagenesis; X-ray crystallography.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / chemistry*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Histones / chemistry
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • BRPF1 protein, human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Histones
  • Ligands
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Lysine