Resetting the epigenetic histone code in the MRL-lpr/lpr mouse model of lupus by histone deacetylase inhibition

Benjamin A. Garcia, Scott A. Busby, Jeffrey Shabanowitz, Donald F. Hunt, Nilamadhab Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


The baseline level of gene expression varies between healthy controls and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, and among SLE patients themselves. These variations may explain the different clinical manifestations and severity of disease observed in SLE. Epigenetic mechanisms, which involve DNA and histone modifications, are predictably associated with distinct transcriptional states. To understand the interplay between various histone modifications, including acetylation and methylation, and lupus disease, we performed differential expression histone modification analysis in splenocytes from the MRL-lpr/lpr mouse model of lupus. Using stable isotope labeling in combination with mass spectrometry, we found global site-specific hypermethylation (except H3 K4 methylation) and hypoacetylation in histone H3 and H4 MRL-lpr/lpr mice compared to control MRL/MPJ mice. Moreover, we have identified novel histone modifications such as H3 K18 methylation, H4 K31 methylation, and H4 K31 acetylation that are differentially expressed in MRL-lpr/lpr mice compared to controls. Finally, in vivo administration of the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) corrected the site-specific hypoacetylation states on H3 and H4 in MRL-lpr/lpr mice with improvement of disease phenotype. Thus, this study is the first to establish the association between aberrant histone codes and pathogenesis of autoimmune disease SLE. These aberrant post-translational histone modifications can therefore be reset with histone deacetylase inhibition in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2032-2042
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Acetylation
  • Differential expression
  • Histone
  • Lupus
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Methylation
  • MRL/lpr
  • Post-translational modification
  • Stable isotope labeling


Dive into the research topics of 'Resetting the epigenetic histone code in the MRL-lpr/lpr mouse model of lupus by histone deacetylase inhibition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this