Identification of Covalent Bromodomain Binders through DNA Display of Small Molecules

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2015 May 11;54(20):6057-61. doi: 10.1002/anie.201412276. Epub 2015 Mar 13.


The regulation of transcriptional programs by epigenetic readers (bromodomains) has been linked to the development of several pathologies. Notably, it has been implicated in the regulation of cellular growth and evasion of apoptosis, in cancer as well as in inflammation. The discovery of small-molecule probes to dissect the role of bromodomains is thus important. We demonstrate that specific cysteine residues conserved across the bromodomains can be harnessed for covalent trapping. We report the discovery of two small molecules that form a covalent bond with cysteine residues conserved across the bromodomain family, analyze the subset of bromodomains that can be addressed through covalent binding, and show proteomic analyses enabled by the enrichment of bromodomains from native lysates.

Keywords: activity-based proteomic profiling; bromodomains; covalent inhibitors; microarrays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites / drug effects
  • Cysteine / chemistry
  • Cysteine / drug effects
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / drug effects*
  • Ethacrynic Acid / chemistry
  • Ethacrynic Acid / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Probes / chemistry*
  • Molecular Probes / pharmacology*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / drug effects*
  • Proteomics
  • Small Molecule Libraries / chemistry*
  • Small Molecule Libraries / pharmacology*


  • Molecular Probes
  • Small Molecule Libraries
  • DNA
  • Cysteine
  • Ethacrynic Acid