Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


PNNL gathers most complete protein map of "world’s toughest bacterium"


Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have obtained the most complete protein coverage of any organism to date with the study of a radiation-resistant microbe known to survive extreme environments. This research potentially could open up new opportunities to harness this microorganism, called Deinococcus radiodurans, for bioremediation.

A study published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences observed a 61 percent coverage of the microbe’s possible predicted set of proteins, or its proteome. This is the most complete proteome reporting to date of any organism. (The proteome is the collection of proteins expressed by a cell under a specific set of conditions at a specific time.) PNNL scientists identified more than 1,900 proteins in D. radiodurans.

Studying the amount of each protein present at any time has become more important as scientists attempt to learn which proteins are involved in important cellular functions. DOE’s Microbial Genome Program, an element of the Genomes to Life Program, provided the genomic information for various microorganisms, including D. radiodurans, and developed ways to predict the set of possible proteins, which hold the key to why and how these microbes carry out different functions.

D. radiodurans is of interest because of its potential to degrade radioactive materials, its ability to withstand high levels of radiation and its impressive DNA repair capabilities. The Guinness Book of World Records once called it the world’s toughest bacterium.

"We’ve been able to see more of the proteins, especially those proteins that exist in small quantities," said Mary Lipton, PNNL senior research scientist and lead author of the PNAS paper. "Because our coverage is unprecedented, we’re now able to provide biologists with protein-level information they never had access to before."

To identify proteins involved in various functions, PNNL researchers exposed D. radiodurans to several stresses and environments: heat shock; cold shock; exposure to chemicals that damage DNA such as trichloroethylene; exposure to ionizing radiation; and starvation. They were able to identify many proteins previously only hypothesized to exist on the basis of DNA information and also proteins that seemed to have little function. New proteins that became active only during a specific condition also were identified, as were proteins that appeared to exist all the time.

To achieve this unprecedented coverage, researchers used a new high-throughput mass spectrometer based on Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance developed at PNNL. This instrumentation allows scientists to identify thousands of proteins within hours. The system relies on a two-step process that first uses tandem mass spectrometry to identify biomarkers for each protein.

"We’ve not only identified the proteins, we have validated our results by using two mass spectrometry techniques," said Richard D. Smith, PNNL principal investigator.

"Once we’ve identified the protein biomarkers, then we never have to repeat the identification step, thereby speeding up our experiments. As a result we not only have a much more complete view of the proteome than existed previously, but we also can follow changes to it much faster."

The experiments were conducted in the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a DOE scientific user facility supported by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research and located at PNNL.

Other authors involved in the research came from Louisiana State University and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md.

Business inquiries on PNNL research and technologies should be directed to 1-888-375-PNNL or e-mail:

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a DOE research facility and delivers breakthrough science and technology in the areas of environment, energy, health, fundamental sciences and national security. Battelle, based in Columbus, Ohio, has operated the laboratory for DOE since 1965.

Staci Maloof | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'
16.03.2018 | Emory Health Sciences

nachricht Scientists map the portal to the cell's nucleus
16.03.2018 | Rockefeller University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>