Proteins Induced in Escherichia coli by Benzoic Acid

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Proteins induced by benzoic acid in Escherichia coli were observed on two-dimensional electrophoretic gels (2-D gels). Cultures were grown in glucose-rich medium in the presence or absence of 20 mM benzoate at an external pH of 6.5, where the pH gradient (DpH) is large and benzoate accumulates, and at an external pH of 8.0, where DpH is inverted and little benzoate is taken up. Radiolabeled proteins were separated on 2-D gels and were identified on the basis of the index of VanBogelen and Neidhardt. In the absence of benzoic acid, little difference was seen between pH 6.5 and pH 8.0; this confirms that the mechanisms of protein homeostasis in this range are constitutive, including the transition between positive and inverted DpH. Addition of benzoate at pH 6.5 increased the expression of 33 proteins. Twelve of the benzoate-induced proteins were induced at pH 8.0 as well, and nine of these matched proteins induced by the uncoupler dinitrophenol. Eighteen proteins were induced by benzoate only at pH 6.5, not at pH 8.0, and were not induced by dinitrophenol. One may be the iron and pH regulator Fur, which regulates acid tolerance in Salmonella spp. The other 13 proteins had not been identified previously. The proteins induced by benzoate only at a low pH may reflect responses to internal acidification or to accumulation of benzoate.


Journal of Bacteriology





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