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BioImpacts. 2021;11(3): 173-179.
doi: 10.34172/bi.2021.23
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Original Research

A sensitive homogeneous enzyme assay for euchromatic histone-lysine-N-methyltransferase 2 (G9a) based on terbium-to-quantum dot time-resolved FRET

Mohammad Amjadi 1* ORCID logo, Tooba Hallaj 1,2, Niko Hildebrandt 3,4

1 Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Tabriz, Tabriz 5166616471, Iran
2 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Cellular and Molecular Medicine Institute, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran
3 NanoBioPhotonics (nanofret.com), Institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC), Université Paris-Saclay, Université Paris-Sud, CNRS, CEA, Orsay, France
4 Laboratoire Chimie Organique, Bioorganique, Réactivité et Analyse (COBRA), Université de Rouen Normandie, CNRS, INSA, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan, France
Corresponding author: Mohammad Amjadi, Email: amjadi@tabrizu.ac.ir amjadi@tabrizu.ac.ir

Abstract

Introduction: Histone modifying enzymes include several classes of enzymes that are responsible for various post-translational modifications of histones such as methylation and acetylation. They are important epigenetic factors, which may involve several diseases and so their assay, as well as screening of their inhibitors, are of great importance. Herein, a bioassay based on terbium-to-quantum dot (Tb-to-QD) time-resolved Förster resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) was developed for monitoring the activity of G9a, the euchromatic histone-lysine N-methyltransferase 2. Overexpression of G9a has been reported in some cancers such as ovarian carcinoma, lung cancer, multiple myeloma and brain cancer. Thus, inhibition of this enzyme is important for therapeutic purposes.
Methods: In this assay, a biotinylated peptide was used as a G9a substrate in conjugation with streptavidin-coated ZnS/CdSe QD as FRET acceptor, and an anti-mark antibody labeled with Tb as a donor. Time-resolved fluorescence was used for measuring FRET ratios.
Results: We examined three QDs, with emission wavelengths of 605, 655 and 705 nm, as FRET acceptors and investigated FRET efficiency between the Tb complex and each of them. Since the maximum FRET efficiency was obtained for Tb to QD705 (more than 50%), this pair was exploited for designing the enzyme assay. We showed that the method has excellent sensitivity and selectivity for the determination of G9a at concentrations as low as 20 pM. Furthermore, the designed assay was applied for screening of an enzyme inhibitor, S-(5’-Adenosyl)-L-homocysteine (SAH).
Conclusion: It was shown that Tb-to-QD FRET is an outstanding platform for developing a homogenous assay for the G9a enzyme and its inhibitors. The obtained results confirmed that this assay was quite sensitive and could be used in the field of inhibitor screening.
Keywords: Enzyme assay, Histone-modifying enzymes, Epigenetic enzymes, Time-resolved FRET, Inhibitor screening
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Submitted: 29 Sep 2019
Revision: 01 Jun 2020
Accepted: 13 Jun 2020
ePublished: 08 Jul 2020
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