The disulfide stress response and protein S-thioallylation caused by allicin and diallyl polysulfanes in Bacillus subtilis as revealed by transcriptomics and proteomics

Bui Khanh Chi, Nguyen Thi Thu Huyen, Vu Van Loi, Martin Gruhlke, Marc Schaffer, Ulrike Mäder, Sandra Maaß, Dorte Becher, Jorg Bernhardt, Miriam Arbach, Chris J. Hamilton, Alan J. Slusarenko, Haike Antelmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Garlic plants (Allium sativum L.) produce antimicrobial compounds, such as diallyl thiosulfinate (allicin) and diallyl polysulfanes. Here, we investigated the transcriptome and protein S-thioallylomes under allicin and diallyl tetrasulfane (DAS4) exposure in the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Allicin and DAS4 caused a similar thiol-specific oxidative stress response, protein and DNA damage as revealed by the induction of the OhrR, PerR, Spx, YodB, CatR, HypR, AdhR, HxlR, LexA, CymR, CtsR, and HrcA regulons in the transcriptome. At the proteome level, we identified, in total, 108 S-thioallylated proteins under allicin and/or DAS4 stress. The S-thioallylome includes enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of surfactin (SrfAA, SrfAB), amino acids (SerA, MetE, YxjG, YitJ, CysJ, GlnA, YwaA), nucleotides (PurB, PurC, PyrAB, GuaB), translation factors (EF-Tu, EF-Ts, EF-G), antioxidant enzymes (AhpC, MsrB), as well as redox-sensitive MarR/OhrR and DUF24-family regulators (OhrR, HypR, YodB, CatR). Growth phenotype analysis revealed that the low molecular weight thiol bacillithiol, as well as the OhrR, Spx, and HypR regulons, confer protection against allicin and DAS4 stress. Altogether, we show here that allicin and DAS4 cause a strong oxidative, disulfide and sulfur stress response in the transcriptome and widespread S-thioallylation of redox-sensitive proteins in B. subtilis. The results further reveal that allicin and polysulfanes have similar modes of actions and thiol-reactivities and modify a similar set of redox-sensitive proteins by S-thioallylation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number605
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2019

Cite this