Document Type


Publication Date



Elongation factor P (EF-P) accelerates diprolyl synthesis and requires a posttranslational modification to maintain proteostasis. Two phylogenetically distinct EF-P modification pathways have been described and are encoded in the majority of Gram-negative bacteria, but neither is present in Gram-positive bacteria. Prior work suggested that the EF-P-encoding gene (efp) primarily supports Bacillus subtilis swarming differentiation, whereas EF-P in Gram-negative bacteria has a more global housekeeping role, prompting our investigation to determine whether EF-P is modified and how it impacts gene expression in motile cells. We identified a 5-aminopentanol moiety attached to Lys32 of B. subtilis EF-P that is required for swarming motility. A fluorescent in vivo B. subtilis reporter system identified peptide motifs whose efficient synthesis was most dependent on 5-aminopentanol EF-P. Examination of the B. subtilis genome sequence showed that these EF-P-dependent peptide motifs were represented in flagellar genes. Taken together, these data show that, in B. subtilis, a previously uncharacterized posttranslational modification of EF-P can modulate the synthesis of specific diprolyl motifs present in proteins required for swarming motility.


This article was originally published in Journal of Biological Chemistry, volume 291, in 2016.


American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.