Proteomic analysis of a multi-resistant clinical Escherichia coli isolate of unknown genomic background.
ABSTRACT Horizontal transfer of gene clusters occurs in Escherichia coli (E. coli), which could lead to evolution of new pathovars and improve survival fitness. However, this genetic event results in genomic plasticity which is a hindrance for proteomic characterization of strains with unknown genetic backgrounds. To characterize such isolate with many specific genetic variations we used the recently in-house designed MSMSpdbb software which merges protein databases from several sources of E. coli including type strains and other commensal and pathogenic isolates. We selected a multidrug resistant clinical isolate in order to check the capacity of our approach to identify selected protein markers. From the 1596 identified proteins, we found important virulence factors such as IutA, OmpA, TraT and selected enzymes conferring antibiotic resistance, such as CTX-M-15 (Extended-Spectrum Beta Lactamase--ESBL) and AAC(6')-Ib-cr (to aminoglycoside+fluoroquinolone). In addition, we compared the protein identifications with E. coli gene annotation and found that 27% of the proteins identified in the present study corresponded to the pan-genome of E. coli species and are only present in a subset of strains. This demonstrates the ability of our approach to characterize the proteome of bacterial strains with complex genomic plasticity even without its genomic information.