Identification of proteoforms of short open reading frame-encoded peptides in Blautia producta under different cultivation conditions

Jerome Genth, Kathrin Schäfer, Liam Cassidy, Simon Graspeuntner, Jan Rupp, Andreas Tholey*

*Corresponding author for this work


Short open reading frames (sORF) have the potential to encode small proteins, sORF-encoded peptides (SEP), which are less than or equal to 100 amino acids in length. These SEP have been associated with various physiological processes and are known for their potential roles in modulating immune responses, signaling pathways, and cellular functions. Using bottom-up and top-down proteomics, we identified 45 novel and formerly reported SEP under different growth conditions and stress exposure in single cultures of Blautia producta that plays a central role in mediating colonization resistance and dampening inflammation in the human gut microbiome. Top-down analysis improved identification confidence and allowed the detection of a number of full-length and N- or C-terminal truncated proteoforms of the SEP and of proteoforms carrying post-translational modifications such as disulfides, which provides hints for a wide functional potential of these molecules. The identification of the SEP in single cultures of this bacterium shows that, in contrast to previous results, the biosynthesis of specific SEP is not restricted to direct bacterial interactions within the microbiome but is dependent on growth and environmental conditions during cultivation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 12.2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 204-03 Medical Microbiology and Mycology, Hygiene, Molecular Infection Biology

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