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Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2010 Oct;7(10):1255-62. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2010.0578.

Aureocins 4185, bacteriocins produced by Staphylococcus aureus 4185: potential application in food preservation.

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  • 1Departamento de Microbiologia Geral, Instituto de Microbiologia Prof. Paulo de Góes, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


In the present study, the bacteriocins produced by Staphylococcus aureus 4185, a strain isolated from bovine mastitis, were purified and partially characterized. After purification by ammonium sulfate precipitation, cation-exchange chromatography, and five runs of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), antimicrobial activity was recovered with 40% and 80% isopropanol, suggesting that more than one antimicrobial peptide, named aureocins 4185, is produced by S. aureus 4185. Mass spectrometry analyses revealed three peptides eluted with 40% isopropanol: peptide A (2,305.3 +/-1.5 Da), peptide B (2,327.3 +/-1.5 Da), and peptide C (3,005.5 +/-1.5 Da), and two peptides eluted with 80% isopropanol: peptide D (6,413.5 +/-1.5 Da) and peptide E (12,834.5 +/-1.5 Da). Although five peptides have been detected, only four small peptide sequences were obtained by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF)/TOF mass spectrometry analyses: SLLEQFTGK (eluted with 40% isopropanol), ALLYDER, NNTSHNLPLGWFNVK, and NNLAQGTFNATK (eluted with 80% isopropanol). The sequences SLLEQFTGK and ALLYDER revealed identity with hypothetical peptides with unknown function. The sequences NNTSHNLPLGWFNVK and NNLAQGTFNATK showed similarity to a segment of a precursor of staphylococcal autolysins. The antimicrobial activity detected in the supernatant of strain 4185 proved to be resistant to heat treatment at 65°C; however, treatment at 80°C abolished completely its antimicrobial properties. The concentrated supernatant containing aureocins 4185 exhibited a strong bacteriolytic activity toward Micrococcus luteus ATCC 4698. Additionally, aureocins 4185 exhibited antagonistic activity against important foodborne pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes, thus showing a potential application in food preservation.

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