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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2014 Feb;13(2):537-50. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M113.032292. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

Quantitative phosphoproteomics reveals the role of protein arginine phosphorylation in the bacterial stress response.

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  • 1Research Institute of Molecular Pathology - IMP, Dr. Bohr-Gasse 7, A-1030 Vienna, Austria;


Arginine phosphorylation is an emerging protein modification implicated in the general stress response of Gram-positive bacteria. The modification is mediated by the arginine kinase McsB, which phosphorylates and inactivates the heat shock repressor CtsR. In this study, we developed a mass spectrometric approach accounting for the peculiar chemical properties of phosphoarginine. The improved methodology was used to analyze the dynamic changes in the Bacillus subtilis arginine phosphoproteome in response to different stress situations. Quantitative analysis showed that a B. subtilis mutant lacking the YwlE arginine phosphatase accumulated a strikingly large number of arginine phosphorylations (217 sites in 134 proteins), however only a minor fraction of these sites was increasingly modified during heat shock or oxidative stress. The main targets of McsB-mediated arginine phosphorylation comprise central factors of the stress response system including the CtsR and HrcA heat shock repressors, as well as major components of the protein quality control system such as the ClpCP protease and the GroEL chaperonine. These findings highlight the impact of arginine phosphorylation in orchestrating the bacterial stress response.

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