Temperature-dependent proteolysis as a control element in Escherichia coli metabolism

Res Microbiol. 2009 Nov;160(9):684-6. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2009.08.015. Epub 2009 Sep 19.


Escherichia coli can grow at a broad temperature range, from less than 20 degrees C up to 45 degrees C. An increase in temperature results in a major physiological change, as enzymes work faster but, on the other hand, proteins tend to unfold. Therefore, a shift-up in temperature results in the induction of several regulatory response mechanisms aimed at restoring balanced growth at the new temperature. One important mechanism involves temperature-dependent proteolysis, which constitutes a fast response to temperature shift-ups. Here we discuss the effect of proteolysis on protein synthesis, and the heat shock response.

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Dependent Proteases / metabolism
  • Biocatalysis
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Heat-Shock Response / genetics
  • Methionine / biosynthesis
  • Sigma Factor / metabolism
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Temperature*


  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Sigma Factor
  • heat-shock sigma factor 32
  • Methionine
  • ATP-Dependent Proteases
  • FtsH protein, E coli