Physiology of trans-translation deficiency in Bacillus subtilis – a comparative proteomics study

Melissa Vázquez-Hernández, Stephanie L. Leedom, Kenneth C. Keiler, Julia Elisabeth Bandow

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trans-Translation is the most effective ribosome rescue system known in bacteria. While it is essential in some bacteria, Bacillus subtilis possesses two additional alternative ribosome rescue mechanisms that require the proteins BrfA or RqcH. To investigate the physiology of trans-translation deficiency in the model organism B. subtilis, we compared the proteomes of B. subtilis 168 and a ΔssrA mutant in the mid-log phase using gel-free label-free quantitative proteomics. In chemically defined medium, the growth rate of the ssrA deletion mutant was 20% lower than that of B. subtilis 168. An 35S-methionine incorporation assay demonstrated that protein synthesis rates were also lower in the ΔssrA strain. Alternative rescue factors were not detected. Among the 34 proteins overrepresented in the mutant strain were eight chemotaxis proteins. Indeed, both on LB agar and minimal medium the ΔssrA strain showed an altered motility and chemotaxis phenotype. Despite the lower growth rate, in the mutant proteome ribosomal proteins were more abundant while proteins related to amino acid biosynthesis were less abundant than in the parental strain. This overrepresentation of ribosomal proteins coupled with a lower protein synthesis rate and down-regulation of precursor supply reflects the slow ribosome recycling in the trans-translation-deficient mutant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2200474
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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