The transcriptional regulatory protein Rgg coordinates amino acid catabolism and virulence factor expression in Streptococcus pyogenes. We used a proteomic approach to compare cytoplasmic proteins isolated from S. pyogenes wild-type strain NZ131 (serotype M49) to proteins isolated from an rgg mutant strain during the exponential and stationary phases of growth. Proteins were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and 125 protein spots of interest were identified by tandem mass spectrometry. Comparative analysis of proteins isolated from the isogenic strains revealed that growth phase-associated regulation of enzymes involved in the metabolism of arginine (ArcABC), histidine (HutI), and serine (SdhA) was abrogated in the rgg mutant strain, which synthesized the proteins in the exponential phase of growth. In contrast, the enzymes were detected only among wild-type proteins isolated from organisms in the stationary phase of growth. The differences in protein composition were correlated with previously described metabolic changes. In addition, proteins associated with thermal and oxidative stress responses, including ClpE and ClpL, were present in samples isolated from the rgg mutant strain but not in samples isolated from the wild-type strain. The rgg mutant strain was more tolerant to elevated temperature and puromycin than the wild-type strain; however, the mutant was less tolerant to paraquat. We concluded that Rgg is a global regulatory factor that contributes to growth phase-dependent synthesis of proteins associated with secondary metabolism and oxidative and thermal stress responses.
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