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Int J Food Microbiol. 2004 Apr 1;92(1):1-14.

A bacterial gene homologous to ABC transporters protect Oenococcus oeni from ethanol and other stress factors in wine.

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  • 1Faculté d'Oenologie, Université de Bordeaux II, 351 cours de la Libération, 33405 Talence Cedex, France. jp.bourdineaud@epoc.u-bordeaux1.fr


The wine lactic acid bacteria Oenococcus oeni has to cope with harsh environmental conditions including an acidic pH, a high alcoholic content, non-optimal growth temperatures, and growth inhibitory compounds such as fatty acids, phenolic acids and tannins. We here describe characterisation and cloning of the O. oeni omrA gene encoding a protein belonging to the ATP-binding cassette superfamily of transporters. The OmrA protein displays the highest sequence similarity with the subfamily of ATP-dependent multidrug resistance (MDR) proteins, most notably the bacterial Lactococcus lactis LmrA homologue of the human MDR1 P-glycoprotein. The omrA gene proved to be a stress-responsive gene since its expression was increased at high temperature or under osmotic shock. The OmrA protein function was tested in Escherichia coli, and consistent with the omrA gene expression pattern, OmrA conferred protection to bacteria grown on a high salt medium. OmrA also triggered bacterial resistance to sodium laurate, wine and ethanol toxicity. The homologous LmrA protein featured the same stress-protective pattern than OmrA when expressed in E. coli, and the contribution to resistance of both OmrA and LmrA transporters was decreased by verapamil, a well-known inhibitor of the human MDR1 protein. Genes homologous to omrA were detected in other wine lactic acid bacteria, suggesting that this type of genes might constitute a well-conserved stress-protective molecular device.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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