Identification of novel Escherichia coli ribosome-associated proteins using isobaric tags and multidimensional protein identification techniques

J Bacteriol. 2007 May;189(9):3434-44. doi: 10.1128/JB.00090-07. Epub 2007 Mar 2.


Biogenesis of the large ribosomal subunit requires the coordinate assembly of two rRNAs and 33 ribosomal proteins. In vivo, additional ribosome assembly factors, such as helicases, GTPases, pseudouridine synthetases, and methyltransferases, are also critical for ribosome assembly. To identify novel ribosome-associated proteins, we used a proteomic approach (isotope tagging for relative and absolute quantitation) that allows for semiquantitation of proteins from complex protein mixtures. Ribosomal subunits were separated by sucrose density centrifugation, and the relevant fractions were pooled and analyzed. The utility and reproducibility of the technique were validated via a double duplex labeling method. Next, we examined proteins from 30S, 50S, and translating ribosomes isolated at both 16 degrees C and 37 degrees C. We show that the use of isobaric tags to quantify proteins from these particles is an excellent predictor of the particles with which the proteins associate. Moreover, in addition to bona fide ribosomal proteins, additional proteins that comigrated with different ribosomal particles were detected, including both known ribosomal assembly factors and unknown proteins. The ribosome association of several of these proteins, as well as others predicted to be associated with ribosomes, was verified by immunoblotting. Curiously, deletion mutants for the majority of these ribosome-associated proteins had little effect on cell growth or on the polyribosome profiles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Escherichia coli / chemistry*
  • Escherichia coli / physiology
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / analysis
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Immunoblotting
  • Isotope Labeling
  • Ribosomal Proteins / analysis
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics
  • Ribosomal Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Ribosomes / chemistry*
  • Ribosomes / physiology
  • Temperature


  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Ribosomal Proteins