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B. subtilis Ribosomal Proteins: Structural Homology and Post-Translational Modifications

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journal contribution
posted on 04.09.2009, 00:00 by Matthew A. Lauber, William E. Running, James P. Reilly
Ribosomal proteins of the model gram-positive bacterium B. subtilis 168 were extensively characterized in a proteomic study. Mass spectra of the 52 proteins expected to be constitutive components of the 70S ribosome were recorded. Peptide MS/MS analysis with an average sequence coverage of 85% supported the identification of these proteins and facilitated the unambiguous assignment of post-translational modifications, including the methylation of S7, L11, and L16 and the N-terminal acetylation of S9. In addition, the high degree of structural homology between B. subtilis and other eubacterial ribosomal proteins was demonstrated through chemical labeling with S-methylthioacetimidate. One striking difference from previous characterizations of bacterial ribosomal proteins is that dozens of protein masses were found to be in error and not easily accounted for by post-translational modifications. This, in turn, led us to discover an inordinate number of sequencing errors in the reference genome of B. subtilis 168. We have found that these errors have been corrected in a recently revised version of the genome.