The lysis and extraction of soluble bacterial proteins from cells is a common practice for proteomics analyses, but insoluble bacterial biomasses are often left behind. Here, we show that with triflic acid treatment, the insoluble bacterial biomass of Gram- and Gram+ bacteria can be rendered soluble. We use LC-MS/MS shotgun proteomics to show that bacterial proteins in the soluble and insoluble postlysis fractions differ significantly. Additionally, in the case of Gram- Pseudomonas aeruginosa, triflic acid treatment enables the enrichment of cell-envelope-associated proteins. Finally, we apply triflic acid to a human microbiome sample to show that this treatment is robust and enables the identification of a new, complementary subset of proteins from a complex microbial mixture.
Keywords: ComPIL; MudPIT; membrane proteins; metaproteomics; microbiome; triflic acid.