Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



A THESISPresented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science Major: Interdepartmental Area of Nutrition Under the Supervision of Professor Janos Zempleni Lincoln, Nebraska July, 2010. Copyright 2010 Luisa Rios Avila


Holocarboxylase synthetase (HCS) catalyzes the binding of biotin to lysine (K) residues in histones H3 and H4. Histone biotinylation marks play important roles in the repression of genes and retrotransposons. Preliminary studies suggested that K16 in histone H4 is a target for biotinylation by HCS. Here we demonstrated that H4K16bio is overrepresented in repeat regions {pericentromeric alpha satellite repeats; long terminal repeats (LTR)} compared with euchromatin promoters. H4K16bio was also enriched in the repressed interleukin-2 gene promoter. The enrichment at LTR22 and promoter 1 of the sodium-dependent multivitamin transporter (SMVT) depended on biotin supply; and was significantly lower in fibroblasts from an HCS-deficient patient compared with an HCS wild-type control. We conclude that H4K16bio is a real phenomenon and plays a role in the transcriptional repression of repeats and genes.

HCS catalyzes the covalent binding of biotin to carboxylases, in addition to its role as a histone biotinyl ligase. HCS null individuals are not viable whereas HCS deficiency is linked to developmental delays and phenotypes such as short life span and low stress resistance. Here, we developed a 96-well plate assay for high-throughput analysis of HCS based on the detection of biotinylated p67 using IRDye-streptavidin and infrared spectroscopy. We demonstrated that the catalytic activity of rHCS depends on temperature and time, and proposed optimal substrate and enzyme concentrations to ensure ideal measurement of rHCS activity and its kinetics. Additionally, we demonstrated that this assay is sensitive enough to detect biotinylation of p67 by endogenous HCS from Jurkat lymphoid cells.