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J Appl Microbiol. 1999 Jan;86(1):45-54.

Purification, amino acid sequence and mode of action of bifidocin B produced by Bifidobacterium bifidum NCFB 1454.

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Department of Food Science, Center for Food Safety and Quality-IFSE, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, USA.


Bifidocin B produced by Bifidobacterium bifidum NCFB 1454 was purified to homogeneity by a rapid and simple three step purification procedure which included freeze drying, Micro-Cel adsorption/desorption and cation exchange chromatography. The purification resulted in 18% recovery and an approximately 1900-fold increase in the specific activity and purity of bifidocin B. Treatment with bifidocin B caused sensitive cells to lose high amounts of intracellular K+ ions and u.v.-absorbing materials, and to become more permeable to ONPG. Bifidocin B adsorbed to the Gram-positive bacteria but not the Gram-negative bacteria tested. Its adsorption was pH-dependent but not time-dependent. For sensitive cells, the adsorption and lethal action of bifidocin B was very rapid. In 5 min, 95% of bifidocin B adsorbed onto sensitive cells. Several salts inhibited the binding of bifidocin B, which could be overcome by increasing the amount of bifidocin B added. Pre-treatment of sensitive cells and cell walls with detergents, organic solvents or enzymes did not cause a reduction in subsequent cellular binding of bifidocin B, but cell wall preparations treated with methanol:chloroform and hot 20% (w/v) TCA lost the ability to adsorb bifidocin B. Also, the addition of purified heterologous lipoteichoic acid to sensitive cells completely blocked the adsorption of bifidocin B. The amino acid sequence indicated that the bacteriocin contained 36 residues. N-terminal amino acid sequence analysis yielded a sequence of KYYGNGVTCGLHDCRVDRGKATCGIINNGGMWGDIG. Curing experiments with 20 micrograms ml-1 acriflavine yielded cell derivatives that no longer produced bifidocin B but retained immunity to bifidocin B. Production of bifidocin B, but not immunity to bifidocin B, was associated with a plasmid of about 8 kb in this strain.

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