The application of terminomics for the identification of protein start sites and proteoforms in bacteria

Proteomics. 2016 Jan;16(2):257-72. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201500319. Epub 2015 Nov 23.


Protein terminomics, or the study of amino acids sequences at the protein amino or carboxyl terminus has rapidly evolved as a proteomic discipline due to significant methodological improvements in the labelling and recovery of terminal peptides as well as the increased speed and sensitivity of current mass spectrometry instrumentation. The most significant beneficiaries of these developments include an increased awareness and understanding of complex proteolytic cascades that regulate key biological processes and in genome annotation. Most terminomics research to date has focused on gaining insight into important biological processes such as inflammation, wound healing and cancer. The application of terminomics to the study of important biological questions in prokaryotes is gaining traction. Here we review current applications and progress of terminomics in prokaryotes, discuss the significance of protease research in bacterial pathogenesis and protein maturation, and suggest novel applications of terminomics in the study of infectious disease.

Keywords: Degradomics; Limited proteolysis; Microbiology; Post-translational cleavage; Proteogenomics; Terminomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein
  • Transcription Initiation Site


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Protein Sorting Signals