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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 May 8;109(19):7451-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1117483109. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Global impact of protein arginine phosphorylation on the physiology of Bacillus subtilis.

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Institute of Microbiology, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University Greifswald, D-17487 Greifswald, Germany.


Reversible protein phosphorylation is an important and ubiquitous protein modification in all living cells. Here we report that protein phosphorylation on arginine residues plays a physiologically significant role. We detected 121 arginine phosphorylation sites in 87 proteins in the gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis in vivo. Moreover, we provide evidence that protein arginine phosphorylation has a functional role and is involved in the regulation of many critical cellular processes, such as protein degradation, motility, competence, and stringent and stress responses. Our results suggest that in B. subtilis the combined activity of a protein arginine kinase and phosphatase allows a rapid and reversible regulation of protein activity and that protein arginine phosphorylation can play a physiologically important and regulatory role in bacteria.

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