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Proteomics. 2005 Feb;5(2):433-43.

Analysis of the Listeria cell wall proteome by two-dimensional nanoliquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry.

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Unidad de Proteómica, Fundación Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares, Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain.


Genome analyses have revealed that the Gram-positive bacterial species Listeria monocytogenes and L. innocua contain a large number of genes encoding surface proteins predicted to be covalently bound to the cell wall (41 and 34, respectively). The function of most of these proteins is unknown and they have not even been identified biochemically. Here, we report the first characterization of the Listeria cell wall proteome using a nonelectrophoretic approach. The material analyzed consisted of a peptide mixture obtained from a cell wall extract insoluble in boiling 4% SDS. This extract, containing peptidoglycan (intrinsically resistant to proteases) and strongly associated proteins, was digested with trypsin in a solution with 0.01% SDS, used to favor protein digestion throughout the peptidoglycan. The resulting complex peptide mixture was fractionated and analyzed by two-dimensional nanoliquid chromatography coupled to ion-trap mass spectrometry. A total of 30 protein species were unequivocally identified in cell wall extracts of the genome strains L. monocytogenes EGD-e (19 proteins) and L. innocua CLIP11262 (11 proteins). Among them, 20 proteins bearing an LPXTG motif recognized for covalent anchoring to the peptidoglycan were identified. Other proteins detected included peptidoglycan-lytic enzymes, a penicillin-binding protein, and proteins bearing an NXZTN motif recently proposed to direct protein anchoring to the peptidoglycan. The marked sensitivity of the method makes it highly attractive in the post-genome era for defining the cell wall proteome in any bacterial species. This information will be useful to study novel protein-peptidoglycan associations and to rapidly identify new targets in the surface of important bacterial pathogens.

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