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Trapping and proteomic identification of cellular substrates of the ClpP protease in Staphylococcus aureus

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Jingyuan Feng
  • Stephan Michalik
  • Anders Nissen Varming
  • Julie H Andersen
  • Dirk Albrecht
  • Lotte Jelsbak
  • Stefanie Krieger
  • Knut Ohlsen
  • Michael Hecker
  • Ulf Gerth
  • Hanne Ingmer
  • Dorte Frees
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In the important human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus the cytoplasmic ClpP protease is essential for mounting cellular stress responses and for virulence. To directly identify substrates of the ClpP protease, we expressed in vivo a proteolytic inactive form of ClpP (ClpP(trap)) that will retain but not degrade substrates translocated into its proteolytic chamber. Substrates captured inside the proteolytic barrel were co-purified along with the His-tagged ClpP complex and identified by mass spectrometry. In total, approximately 70 proteins were trapped in both of the two S. aureus strains NCTC8325-4 and Newman. About one-third of the trapped proteins are previously shown to be unstable or to be substrates of ClpP in other bacteria, supporting the validity of the ClpP-TRAP. This group of proteins encompassed the transcriptional regulators CtsR and Spx, the ClpC adaptor proteins McsB and MecA, and the cell division protein FtsZ. Newly identified ClpP substrates include the global transcriptional regulators PerR and HrcA, proteins involved in DNA damage repair (RecA, UvrA, UvrB), and proteins essential for protein synthesis (RpoB and Tuf). Our study hence underscores the central role of Clp-proteolysis in a number of pathways that contribute to the success of S. aureus as a human pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)547-58
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013

    Research areas

  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins, Bacterial Proteins, Cytoskeletal Proteins, DNA Repair, DNA, Bacterial, Drug Resistance, Bacterial, Endopeptidase Clp, Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial, Heat-Shock Response, Peptide Elongation Factor Tu, Protein Binding, Protein Kinases, Proteolysis, Proteome, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Repressor Proteins, Staphylococcus aureus

ID: 44458945