Polyaminated, acetylated and stop codon readthrough of recombinant Francisella tularensis universal stress protein in Escherichia coli

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Abstract

Recombinant Francisella tularensis universal stress protein with a C-terminal histidine-tag (rUsp/His6) was expressed in Escherichia coli. Endogenous F. tularensis Usp has a predicted molecular mass of 30 kDa, but rUsp/His6 had an apparent molecular weight of 33 kDa based on Western blot analyses. To determine the source of the higher molecular weight for rUsp/His6, post translational modifications were examined. Tryptic peptides of purified rUsp/His6 were subjected to liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and fragmentation spectra were searched for acetylated lysines and polyaminated glutamines. Of the 24 lysines in rUsp/His6, 10 were acetylated (K63, K68, K72, K129, K175, K201, K208, K212, K233, and K238) and three of the four glutamines had putrescine, spermidine and spermine adducts (Q55, Q60 and Q267). The level of post-translational modification was substoichiometric, eliminating the possibility that these modifications were the sole contributor to the 3 kDa extra mass of rUsp/His6. LC-MS/MS revealed that stop codon readthrough had occurred resulting in the unexpected addition of 20 extra amino acids at the C-terminus of rUsp/His6, after the histidine tag. Further, the finding of polyaminated glutamines in rUsp/His6 indicated that E. coli is capable of transglutaminase activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0299701
JournalPloS one
Volume19
Issue number4 April
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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