2006 Volume 52 Issue 5 Pages 249-258
Recent advanced studies of genomics and proteomics have revealed the variation and diversity of ribosomal proteins (r-proteins) in different organisms and organelles. Radical free and highly reducing (RFHR) two-dimensional (2-D) electrophoresis is known to be powerful for separating ribosomal proteins that are usually small and basic, and not separated well by standard 2-D electrophoresis. Using the RFHR method, we investigated the protein profile of the Bacillus subtilis ribosomes by a proteomic approach. We found that two L31 paralogue proteins (RpmE and YtiA) showed different temporal expression patterns in the ribosomes. The RpmE protein, which is an L31 variant with a Zn-binding motif, binds one zinc ion at the motif, which is required for stabilization of the protein in the cell. On the other hand, the expression of the ytiA gene, which encodes another L31 variant (YtiA) without the Zn-binding motif, is negatively controlled by the zinc-specific transcriptional repressor Zur and is likely induced by zinc starvation. This article reviews the recent findings that replacement of two types of L31 proteins in the ribosome is controlled by the intracellular zinc concentration.