Proteome analyses of Staphylococcus aureus in growing and non-growing cells: a physiological approach

Christian Kohler, Susanne Wolff, Dirk Albrecht, Stephan Fuchs, Dörte Becher, Knut Büttner, Susanne Engelmann, Michael Hecker
International Journal of Medical Microbiology: IJMM 2005, 295 (8): 547-65
Staphylococcus aureus is a versatile human pathogen causing a wide variety of diseases ranging from wound infection to endocarditis, osteomyelitis, and sepsis. In order to investigate this pathogen, we sought to analyze the cytoplasmic proteome of S. aureus COL by using two different approaches: two-dimensional (2D) gel analyses combined with matrix-assisted laser ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry and a gel-free system using multidimensional liquid chromatography followed by mass spectrometry. By combining both analyses we identified 1123 cytoplasmic proteins that represent two-thirds of the cytoplasmic proteome of the organism. With our standard 2D gel setup (pI 4-7) we identified 473 proteins that cover about 40% of the cytoplasmic proteome predicted for this proteomic window. The identified proteins belong to a variety of cellular functions ranging from the transcriptional and translational machinery, tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCC), glycolysis, and fermentation pathways to biosynthetic pathways of nucleotides, fatty acids, and cell wall components. While most of the metabolic pathways predicted for S. aureus were covered by this gel-based proteomics 650 additional proteins were identified by the gel-free approach, among them alkaline or hydrophobic proteins. In our work, we established a master 2D gel that enabled us to study the regulation of core carbon metabolism in S. aureus cells grown in a complex medium. Our comparison of the protein pattern of exponentially growing cells with that of stationary-phase cells revealed a higher amount of enzymes involved in protein synthesis, transcription, and glycolysis in exponentially growing cells. In contrast, enzymes of the TCC and gluconeogenesis are increased at the stationary phase. With this comprehensive proteome map we have an essential tool for a better understanding of cell physiology of the human pathogen, S. aureus.

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