Protein cleavage influences surface protein presentation in Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Scientific reports, 2021, 11, (1), pp. 6743
Issue Date:
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Revised_N-term_18221.docxAccepted version3.87 MB
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Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a significant cause of pneumonia and post infection sequelae affecting organ sites distant to the respiratory tract are common. It is also a model organism where extensive 'omics' studies have been conducted to gain insight into how minimal genome self-replicating organisms function. An N-terminome study undertaken here identified 4898 unique N-terminal peptides that mapped to 391 (56%) predicted M. pneumoniae proteins. True N-terminal sequences beginning with the initiating methionine (iMet) residue from the predicted Open Reading Frame (ORF) were identified for 163 proteins. Notably, almost half (317; 46%) of the ORFS derived from M. pneumoniae strain M129 are post-translationally modified, presumably by proteolytic processing, because dimethyl labelled neo-N-termini were characterised that mapped beyond the predicted N-terminus. An analysis of the N-terminome describes endoproteolytic processing events predominately targeting tryptic-like sites, though cleavages at negatively charged residues in P1' (D and E) with lysine or serine/alanine in P2' and P3' positions also occurred frequently. Surfaceome studies identified 160 proteins (23% of the proteome) to be exposed on the extracellular surface of M. pneumoniae. The two orthogonal methodologies used to characterise the surfaceome each identified the same 116 proteins, a 72% (116/160) overlap. Apart from lipoproteins, transporters, and adhesins, 93/160 (58%) of the surface proteins lack signal peptides and have well characterised, canonical functions in the cell. Of the 160 surface proteins identified, 134 were also targets of endo-proteolytic processing. These processing events are likely to have profound implications for how the host immune system recognises and responds to M. pneumoniae.
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