S-Bacillithiolation protects conserved and essential proteins against hypochlorite stress in Firmicutes bacteria

Bui Khanh Chi, Alexandra A. Roberts, Tran Thi Thanh Huyen, Katrin Bäsell, Dörte Becher, Dirk Albrecht, Chris J. Hamilton, Haike Antelmann

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84 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Protein S-bacillithiolations are mixed disulfides between protein thiols and the bacillithiol (BSH) redox buffer that occur in response to NaOCl in Bacillus subtilis. We used BSH-specific immunoblots, shotgun liquid chromatography (LC)–tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) analysis and redox proteomics to characterize the S-bacillithiolomes of B. subtilis, B. megaterium, B. pumilus, B. amyloliquefaciens, and Staphylococcus carnosus and also measured the BSH/oxidized bacillithiol disulfide (BSSB) redox ratio after NaOCl stress. Results: In total, 54 proteins with characteristic S-bacillithiolation (SSB) sites were identified, including 29 unique proteins and eight proteins conserved in two or more of these bacteria. The methionine synthase MetE is the most abundant S-bacillithiolated protein in Bacillus species after NaOCl exposure. Further, S-bacillithiolated proteins include the translation elongation factor EF-Tu and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ThrS), the DnaK and GrpE chaperones, the two-Cys peroxiredoxin YkuU, the ferredoxin–NADP+ oxidoreductase YumC, the inorganic pyrophosphatase PpaC, the inosine-5′-monophosphate dehydrogenase GuaB, proteins involved in thiamine biosynthesis (ThiG and ThiM), queuosine biosynthesis (QueF), biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids (AroA and AroE), serine (SerA), branched-chain amino acids (YwaA), and homocysteine (LuxS and MetI). The thioredoxin-like proteins, YphP and YtxJ, are S-bacillithiolated at their active sites, suggesting a function in the de-bacillithiolation process. S-bacillithiolation is accompanied by a two-fold increase in the BSSB level and a decrease in the BSH/BSSB redox ratio in B. subtilis. Innovation: Many essential and conserved proteins, including the dominant MetE, were identified in the S-bacillithiolome of different Bacillus species and S. carnosus using shotgun-LC-MS/MS analyses. Conclusion:S-bacillithiolation is a widespread redox control mechanism among Firmicutes bacteria that protects conserved metabolic enzymes and essential proteins against overoxidation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1273-1295
Number of pages23
JournalAntioxidants & Redox Signaling
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2013

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