Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.459, No.2, 240-245, 2015
Heat shock transcription factor delta(32) is targeted for degradation via an ubiquitin-like protein ThiS in Escherichia coli
The posttranslational modification of proteins with ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins (UBLs) plays an important role in eukaryote biology, through which substrate proteins are targeted for degradation by the proteasome. Prokaryotes have been thought to degrade proteins by an ubiquitin independent pathway. Here, we show that ThiS, an ubiquitin-like protein, is covalently attached to delta(32) and at least 27 other proteins, leading to their subsequent degradation by proteases, in a similar manner to the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) in eukaryotes. Molecular biology and biochemical studies confirm that specific lysine sites in delta(32) can be modified by ThiS. The results presented here establish a new model for delta(32) degradation and show that Escherichia coli uses a small-protein modifier to control protein stability. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.