Bacterial intein-like domains of predatory bacteria: A new domain type characterized in Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

Mally Dori-Bachash, Bareket Dassa, Ofer Peleg, Silvia A. Pineiro, Edouard Jurkevitch, Shmuel Pietrokovski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We report a new family of bacterial intein-like domains (BILs) identified in ten proteins of four diverse predatory bacteria. BILs belong to the HINT (Hedgehog/Intein) superfamily of domains that post-translationally self-process their protein molecules by protein splicing and self-cleavage. The new, C-type, BILs appear with other domains, including putative predator-specific domain 1 (PPS-1), a new domain typically appearing immediately upstream of C-type BILs. The Bd2400 protein of the obligate predator Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus includes a C-type BIL and a PPS-1 domains at its C-terminal part, and a signal peptide and two polycystic kidney disease domains at its N-terminal part. We demonstrate the in vivo transcription, translation, secretion, and processing of the B. bacteriovorus protein, and the in vitro autocatalytic N-terminal cleavage activity of its C-type BIL. Interestingly, whereas the Bd2400 gene is constitutively expressed, its protein product is differentially processed throughout the dimorphic life cycle of the B. bacteriovorus predator. The modular structure of the protein, its localization, and complex processing suggest that it may be involved in the interaction between the predator and its prey.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)153-166
Number of pages14
JournalFunctional and Integrative Genomics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We thank Shai Morin for helping with the statistical analysis; Miriam Eisenstein, Avi Levy, Uri Gophna, Zvi Kelman, Gil Amitai, Yaacov Okon, and Susana Castro-Sowinski for their helpful comments; and the Smoler Proteomics Center for excellent work. SP holds a Hermann and Lilly Schilling Foundation chair. This research was funded by the Israel Science Foundation grant number 486/03.


  • Bioinformatics
  • Comparative genomics
  • Modifications
  • Protein dynamics


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