Pseudomonas aeruginosa proteome under hypoxic stress conditions mimicking the cystic fibrosis lung

Karthik Shantharam Kamath, Christoph Krisp, Joel Chick, Dana Pascovici, Steven P. Gygi, Mark P. Molloy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous Gram-negative pathogen known to inhabit hypoxic mucus plugs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patient lungs. Despite the high prevalence and related patient mortality, the protein machinery enabling the bacterium to adapt to low oxygen environment remains to be fully elucidated. We investigated this by performing both SWATH mass spectrometry and data-dependent SPS-MS3 of TMT-labeled peptides to profile the proteomes of two P. aeruginosa CF isolates, PASS2 and PASS3, and a laboratory reference strain, PAO1, grown under hypoxic stress (O2 < 1%) in media that mimic the nutrient components of the CF lung. Quantitated across all three strains were 3967 P. aeruginosa proteins, reflecting approximately 71% of predicted ORFs in PAO1 and representing the most comprehensive proteome of clinically relevant P. aeruginosa to date. Comparative analysis revealed 735, 640, and 364 proteins were altered by 2-fold or more when comparing low oxygen to aerobic growth in PAO1, PASS2, and PASS3, respectively. Strikingly, under hypoxic stress, all strains showed concurrent increased abundance of proteins required for both aerobic (cbb3-1 and cbb3-2 terminal oxidases) and anaerobic denitrification and arginine fermentation, with the two clinical isolates showing higher relative expression of proteins in these pathways. Additionally, functional annotation revealed that clinical strains portray a unique expression profile of replication, membrane biogenesis, and virulence proteins during hypoxia which may endow these bacteria with a survival advantage. These protein profiles illuminate the diversity of P. aeruginosa mechanisms to adapt to low oxygen and shows that CF isolates initiate a robust molecular response to persist under these conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3917-3928
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2017


  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • cystic fibrosis
  • hypoxia
  • TMT-MS

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