Global lysine acetylation in Escherichia coli results from growth conditions that favor acetate fermentation

Birgit Schilling, Nathan Basisty, David G. Christensen, Dylan Sorensen, James S. Orr, Alan J. Wolfe, Christopher V. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Lysine acetylation is thought to provide a mechanism for regulating metabolism in diverse bacteria. Indeed, many studies have shown that the majority of enzymes involved in central metabolism are acetylated and that acetylation can alter enzyme activity. However, the details regarding this regulatory mechanism are still unclear, specifically with regard to the signals that induce lysine acetylation. To better understand this global regulatory mechanism, we profiled changes in lysine acetylation during growth of Escherichia coli on the hexose glucose or the pentose xylose at both high and low sugar concentrations using label-free mass spectrometry. The goal was to see whether lysine acetylation differed during growth on these two different sugars. No significant differences, however, were observed. Rather, the initial sugar concentration was the principal factor governing changes in lysine acetylation, with higher sugar concentrations causing more acetylation. These results suggest that acetylation does not target specific metabolic pathways but rather simply targets accessible lysines, which may or may not alter enzyme activity. They further suggest that lysine acetylation principally results from conditions that favor accumulation of acetyl phosphate, the principal acetate donor in E. coli. IMPORTANCE Bacteria alter their metabolism in response to nutrient availability, growth conditions, and environmental stresses using a number of different mechanisms. One is lysine acetylation, a posttranslational modification known to target many metabolic enzymes. However, little is known about this regulatory mode. We investigated the factors inducing changes in lysine acetylation by comparing growth on glucose and xylose. We found that the specific sugar used for growth did not alter the pattern of acetylation; rather, the amount of sugar did, with more sugar causing more acetylation. These results imply that lysine acetylation is a global regulatory mechanism that is responsive not to the specific carbon source per se but rather to the accumulation of downstream metabolites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00768-18
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Volume201
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Keywords

  • Acetyl phosphate
  • Acetylation
  • Acetylome
  • Escherichia coli
  • Fermentation
  • Mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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    Schilling, B., Basisty, N., Christensen, D. G., Sorensen, D., Orr, J. S., Wolfe, A. J., & Rao, C. V. (2019). Global lysine acetylation in Escherichia coli results from growth conditions that favor acetate fermentation. Journal of bacteriology, 201(9), [e00768-18]. https://doi.org/10.1128/JB.00768-18