Bromodomain Protein Inhibitors Reorganize the Chromatin of Synovial Fibroblasts

Monika Krošel, Larissa Moser, Miranda Houtman, Jasna Friščić, Matija Tomšič, Oliver Distler, Markus H. Hoffmann, Caroline Ospelt, Kerstin Klein*

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit


Bromodomain- and extra-terminal domain (BET) proteins are epigenetic reader proteins that regulate transcription of their target genes by binding to acetylated histone side chains. Small molecule inhibitors, such as I-BET151, have anti-inflammatory properties in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) and in animal models of arthritis. Here, we investigated whether BET inhibition can also affect the levels of histone modifications, a novel mechanism underlying BET protein inhibition. On the one hand, FLSs were treated with I-BET151 (1 µM) for 24 h in absence and presence of TNF. On the other hand, FLSs were washed with PBS after 48 h of I-BET151 treatment, and the effects were measured 5 days after I-BET151 treatment or after an additional 24 h stimulation with TNF (5 d + 24 h). Mass spectrometry analysis indicated that I-BET151 induced profound changes in histone modifications, with a global reduction in acetylation on different histone side chains 5 days after treatment. We confirmed changes on acetylated histone side chains in independent samples by Western blotting. I-BET151 treatment reduced mean TNF-induced levels of total acetylated histone 3 (acH3), H3K18ac, and H3K27ac. In line with these changes, the TNF-induced expression of BET protein target genes was suppressed 5 d after I-BET151 treatment. Our data indicate that BET inhibitors not only prevent the reading of acetylated histones but directly influence overall chromatin organization, in particular after stimulation with TNF.

PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 13.04.2023

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Infektion und Entzündung - Zentrum für Infektions- und Entzündungsforschung Lübeck (ZIEL)
  • Zentren: Center for Research on Inflammation of the Skin (CRIS)


  • 204-05 Immunologie