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J Proteome Res. 2013 Oct 4;12(10):4507-21. doi: 10.1021/pr4005629. Epub 2013 Sep 23.

In pursuit of protein targets: proteomic characterization of bacterial spore outer layers.

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  • 1Mass Spectrometry of Biomacromolecules and ‚Ä°Molecular Biology & Microbial Food Safety, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam , Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Bacillus cereus, responsible for food poisoning, and Clostridium difficile, the causative agent of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD), are both spore-forming pathogens involved in food spoilage, food intoxication, and other infections in humans and animals. The proteinaceous coat and the exosporium layers from spores are important for their resistance and pathogenicity characteristics. The exosporium additionally provides an ability to adhere to surfaces eventually leading to spore survival in food. Thus, studying these layers and identifying suitable protein targets for rapid detection and removal of spores is of the utmost importance. In this study, we identified 100 proteins from B. cereus spore coat, exosporium and 54 proteins from the C. difficile coat insoluble protein fraction. In an attempt to define a universal set of spore outer layer proteins, we identified 11 superfamily domains common to the identified proteins from two Bacilli and one Clostridium species. The evaluated orthologue relationships of identified proteins across different spore formers resulted in a set of 13 coat proteins conserved across the spore formers and 12 exosporium proteins conserved in the B. cereus group, which could be tested for quick and easy detection or targeted in strategies aimed at removal of spores from surfaces.

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