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J Appl Microbiol. 2000 Aug;89(2):249-60.

Biological and molecular characterization of a two-peptide lantibiotic produced by Lactococcus lactis IFPL105.

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Department of Dairy Science and Technology, Instituto del Frío, Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, Spain.


The lactic acid bacterium Lactococcus lactis IFPL105 secretes a broad spectrum bacteriocin produced from the 46 kb plasmid pBAC105. The bacteriocin was purified to homogeneity by ionic and hydrophobic exchange and reverse-phase chromatography. Bacteriocin activity required the complementary action of two distinct peptides (alpha and beta) with average molecular masses of 3322 and 2848 Da, respectively. The genes encoding the two peptides were cloned and sequenced and were found to be identical to the ltnAB genes from plasmid pMRC01 of L. lactis DPC3147. LtnA and LtnB contain putative leader peptide sequences similar to the known 'double glycine' type. The predicted amino acid sequence of mature LtnA and LtnB differed from the amino acid content determined for the purified alpha and beta peptides in the residues serine, threonine, cysteine and alanine. Post-translational modification, and the formation of lanthionine or methyllanthionine rings, could partly explain the difference. Hybridization experiments showed that the organization of the gene cluster in pBAC105 responsible for the production of the bacteriocin is similar to that in pMRC01, which involves genes encoding modifying enzymes for lantibiotic biosynthesis and dual-function transporters. In both cases, the gene clusters are flanked by IS946 elements, suggesting an en bloc transposition. The findings from the isolation and molecular characterization of the bacteriocin provide evidence for the lantibiotic nature of the two peptides.

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