Changes in the Acetylome and Succinylome of Bacillus subtilis in Response to Carbon Source

PLoS One. 2015 Jun 22;10(6):e0131169. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131169. eCollection 2015.


Lysine residues can be post-translationally modified by various acyl modifications in bacteria and eukarya. Here, we showed that two major acyl modifications, acetylation and succinylation, were changed in response to the carbon source in the Gram-positive model bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Acetylation was more common when the cells were grown on glucose, glycerol, or pyruvate, whereas succinylation was upregulated when the cells were grown on citrate, reflecting the metabolic states that preferentially produce acetyl-CoA and succinyl-CoA, respectively. To identify and quantify changes in acetylation and succinylation in response to the carbon source, we performed a stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC)-based quantitative proteomic analysis of cells grown on glucose or citrate. We identified 629 acetylated proteins with 1355 unique acetylation sites and 204 succinylated proteins with 327 unique succinylation sites. Acetylation targeted different metabolic pathways under the two growth conditions: branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis and purine metabolism in glucose and the citrate cycle in citrate. Succinylation preferentially targeted the citrate cycle in citrate. Acetylation and succinylation mostly targeted different lysine residues and showed a preference for different residues surrounding the modification sites, suggesting that the two modifications may depend on different factors such as characteristics of acyl-group donors, molecular environment of the lysine substrate, and/or the modifying enzymes. Changes in acetylation and succinylation were observed in proteins involved in central carbon metabolism and in components of the transcription and translation machineries, such as RNA polymerase and the ribosome. Mutations that modulate protein acylation affected B. subtilis growth. A mutation in acetate kinase (ackA) increased the global acetylation level, suggesting that acetyl phosphate-dependent acetylation is common in B. subtilis, just as it is in Escherichia coli. Our results suggest that acyl modifications play a role in the physiological adaptations to changes in carbon nutrient availability of B. subtilis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Acetylation
  • Acyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain / metabolism
  • Bacillus subtilis / metabolism*
  • Bacillus subtilis / physiology
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carbon / metabolism
  • Citric Acid / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial / physiology
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / physiology
  • Proteomics
  • Purines / metabolism
  • Succinic Acid / metabolism


  • Acyl Coenzyme A
  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain
  • Purines
  • Citric Acid
  • succinyl-coenzyme A
  • Acetyl Coenzyme A
  • Carbon
  • Succinic Acid
  • Lysine
  • purine

Grant support

This work was supported by Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd ( to SK; and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (, KAKENHI no. 21580105 and 24580133 to SK. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.