Exploring the Microbiome-Wide Lysine Acetylation, Succinylation, and Propionylation in Human Gut Microbiota

Anal Chem. 2021 May 4;93(17):6594-6598. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.1c00962. Epub 2021 Apr 22.


Lysine acylations are important post-translational modifications that are present in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes and regulate diverse cellular functions. Our knowledge of the microbiome lysine acylation remains limited due to the lack of efficient analytical and bioinformatics methods for complex microbial communities. Here, we show that the serial enrichment using motif antibodies successfully captures peptides containing lysine acetylation, propionylation, and succinylation from human gut microbiome samples. A new bioinformatic workflow consisting of an unrestricted database search confidently identified >60,000 acetylated, and ∼20,000 propionylated and succinylated gut microbial peptides. The characterization of these identified modification-specific metaproteomes, i.e., meta-PTMomes, demonstrates that lysine acylations are differentially distributed in microbial species with different metabolic capabilities. This study provides an analytical framework for the study of lysine acylations in the microbiome, which enables functional microbiome studies at the post-translational level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Acylation
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational


  • Lysine