Comprehensive profiling of protein lysine acetylation in Escherichia coli

Kai Zhang, Shuzhen Zheng, Jeong Soo Yang, Yue Chen, Zhongyi Cheng

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188 Scopus citations


Protein lysine acetylation plays a key role in regulating chromatin dynamics, gene expression and metabolic pathways in eukaryotes, and, thus, contributes to diverse cellular processes like transcription, cell cycle regulation, and apoptosis. Although recent evidence suggests that acetylated proteins impact broadly cellular functions in prokaryotes, the substrates and localization of this modification remain widely unknown due to the limitations of analytical methods. Comprehensive identification of protein acetylation is a major bottleneck due to its dynamic property and pretty low abundance. A complete atlas of acetylome will significantly advance our understanding of this modification functions in prokaryotes. To achieve this goal, we have developed an intergraded approach to identifying lysine acetylation. Combining immunoaffinity enrichment with high sensitive mass spectrometry, we identified 349 acetylated proteins and addressed 1070 acetylation sites in Escherichia coli. To our knowledge, the acetylated proteins and acetylated sites were increased to 3 times and 8 times, respectively, compared to that in previous report. To further characterize this modification, we classified acetylated proteins into several groups according to cell components, molecular functions and biological process. Additionally, interaction networks and high confident domains architectures of acetylated proteins were investigated with the aid of bioinformatics tools. Finally, the acetylated metabolic enzymes were analyzed on the basis of acetylated proteins identified by proteomic survey in E. coli. Our study has demonstrated that the combined approach is powerful for identification and characterization of protein lysine acetylation on a large scale. These results not only greatly expand the number of acetylated proteins, but also provide a series of important information including localization, networks and characterization of acetylome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-851
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013


  • Escherichia coli (E. coli)
  • lysine acetylation
  • mass spectrometry (MS)
  • post-translational modifications (PTMs)


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