Biochemical and proteomic analysis of the magnetosome membrane in Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2004 Feb;70(2):1040-50. doi: 10.1128/AEM.70.2.1040-1050.2004.


We analyzed the biochemical composition of the magnetosome membrane (MM) in Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense. Isolated magnetosomes were associated with phospholipids and fatty acids which were similar to phospholipids and fatty acids from other subcellular compartments (i.e., outer and cytoplasmic membranes) but were present in different proportions. The binding characteristics of MM-associated proteins were studied by selective solubilization and limited proteolysis. The MM-associated proteins were further analyzed by various proteomic approaches, including one- and two-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis followed by Edman and mass spectrometric (electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry-mass spectrometry) sequencing, as well as capillary liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-mass spectrometry of total tryptic digests of the MM. At least 18 proteins were found to constitute the magnetosome subproteome, and most of these proteins are novel for M. gryphiswaldense. Except for MM22 and Mms16, all bona fide MM proteins (MMPs) were encoded by open reading frames in the mamAB, mamDC, and mms6 clusters in the previously identified putative magnetosome island. Eight of the MMPs display homology to known families, and some of them occur in the MM in multiple homologues. Ten of the MMPs have no known homologues in nonmagnetic organisms and thus represent novel, magnetotactic bacterium-specific protein families. Several MMPs display repetitive or highly acidic sequence patterns, which are known from other biomineralizing systems and thus may have relevance for magnetite formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Ferric Compounds* / chemistry
  • Ferric Compounds* / metabolism
  • Intracellular Membranes / chemistry
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism*
  • Magnetospirillum / metabolism
  • Magnetospirillum / ultrastructure*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Proteome*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Ferric Compounds
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proteome

Associated data

  • GENBANK/BX640510
  • GENBANK/BX640511