Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important human pathogen causing life-threatening invasive diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis and bacteraemia. Despite major advances in our understanding of pneumococcal mechanisms of pathogenicity obtained through genomic studies very little has been achieved on the characterisation of the proteome of this pathogen. The highly complex structure of its cell envelope particularly amongst the various capsular forms enables the cell to resist lysis by conventional mechanical methods. It is therefore highly desirable to develop a cellular lysis and protein solubilisation procedure that minimises protein losses and allows for maximum possible coverage of the proteome of S. pneumoniae. Here we have utilised various combinations of mechanical or enzymatic cell lysis with two protein solubilisation mixtures urea/CHAPS-based mixture or SDS/DTT-based mixture in order to achieve best quality protein profiles using two proteomic technologies surface-enhanced laser desorption ionisation (SELDI) TOF MS and 2-DE. While urea/CHAPS-based mixture combined with freeze/thawing provided enough material for good-quality SELDI TOF MS fingerprints, a combination of mechanical, enzymatic and chemical lysis was needed to be used to successfully extract the desired protein content for 2-DE analysis. The methods chosen were also assessed for reproducibility and tested on various capsular types of S. pneumoniae. As a result, good-quality and reproducible profiles were created using various ProteinChip® arrays and more than 800 protein spots were separated on a single 2-D gel of S. pneumoniae. Twenty-five of the most abundant protein spots were identified using LC/MS/MS to create a reference map of S. pneumoniae. The proteins identified included glycolytic enzymes such as glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, phosphoglycerate kinase, enolase etc. Several fermentation enzymes were also present including two of the components of the arginine deiminase system. Proteins involved in protein synthesis, such as translation factors and ribosomal proteins, as well as several chaperone proteins were also identified.
- Bacterial proteomics
- Mass spectrometry
- Streptococcus pneumoniae
- Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis