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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Comparative proteomic analysis of Lactobacillus plantarum for the identification of key proteins in bile tolerance

Erwann Hamon12, Peter Horvatovich3, Esther Izquierdo1, Françoise Bringel4, Eric Marchioni1, Dalal Aoudé-Werner2 and Saïd Ennahar1*

Author Affiliations

1 Equipe de Chimie Analytique des Molécules Bio-Actives, IPHC-DSA, Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, 67400, Illkirch, France

2 Aérial, Parc d'Innovation, Illkirch-Graffenstaden, France

3 Department of Analytical Biochemistry, Centre for Pharmacy, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

4 Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire, Génomique, Microbiologie, Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, 67083, Strasbourg, France

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BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:63  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-63

Published: 29 March 2011

Abstract

Background

Lactic acid bacteria are commonly marketed as probiotics based on their putative or proven health-promoting effects. These effects are known to be strain specific but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. Therefore, unravelling the determinants behind probiotic features is of particular interest since it would help select strains that stand the best chance of success in clinical trials. Bile tolerance is one of the most crucial properties as it determines the ability of bacteria to survive in the small intestine, and consequently their capacity to play their functional role as probiotics. In this context, the objective of this study was to investigate the natural protein diversity within the Lactobacillus plantarum species with relation to bile tolerance, using comparative proteomics.

Results

Bile tolerance properties of nine L. plantarum strains were studied in vitro. Three of them presenting different bile tolerance levels were selected for comparative proteomic analysis: L. plantarum 299 V (resistant), L. plantarum LC 804 (intermediate) and L. plantarum LC 56 (sensitive). Qualitative and quantitative differences in proteomes were analyzed using two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), tryptic digestion, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis and database search for protein identification. Among the proteins correlated with differences in the 2-DE patterns of the bacterial strains, 15 have previously been reported to be involved in bile tolerance processes. The effect of a bile exposure on these patterns was investigated, which led to the identification of six proteins that may be key in the bile salt response and adaptation in L. plantarum: two glutathione reductases involved in protection against oxidative injury caused by bile salts, a cyclopropane-fatty-acyl-phospholipid synthase implicated in maintenance of cell envelope integrity, a bile salt hydrolase, an ABC transporter and a F0F1-ATP synthase which participate in the active removal of bile-related stress factors.

Conclusions

These results showed that comparative proteomic analysis can help understand the differential bacterial properties of lactobacilli. In the field of probiotic studies, characteristic proteomic profiles can be identified for individual properties that may serve as bacterial biomarkers for the preliminary selection of strains with the best probiotic potential.