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J Bacteriol. 2000 Dec;182(23):6806-14.

Biochemical and genetic evidence that Enterococcus faecium L50 produces enterocins L50A and L50B, the sec-dependent enterocin P, and a novel bacteriocin secreted without an N-terminal extension termed enterocin Q.

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Laboratory of Microbial Gene Technology, Department of Biotechnological Sciences, Agricultural University of Norway, N-1432 As, Norway.


Enterococcus faecium L50 grown at 16 to 32 degrees C produces enterocin L50 (EntL50), consisting of EntL50A and EntL50B, two unmodified non-pediocin-like peptides synthesized without an N-terminal leader sequence or signal peptide. However, the bacteriocin activity found in the cell-free culture supernatants following growth at higher temperatures (37 to 47 degrees C) is not due to EntL50. A purification procedure including cation-exchange, hydrophobic interaction, and reverse-phase liquid chromatography has shown that the antimicrobial activity is due to two different bacteriocins. Amino acid sequences obtained by Edman degradation and DNA sequencing analyses revealed that one is identical to the sec-dependent pediocin-like enterocin P produced by E. faecium P13 (L. M. Cintas, P. Casaus, L. S. Hâvarstein, P. E. Hernández, and I. F. Nes, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63:4321-4330, 1997) and the other is a novel unmodified non-pediocin-like bacteriocin termed enterocin Q (EntQ), with a molecular mass of 3,980. DNA sequencing analysis of a 963-bp region of E. faecium L50 containing the enterocin P structural gene (entP) and the putative immunity protein gene (entiP) reveals a genetic organization identical to that previously found in E. faecium P13. DNA sequencing analysis of a 1,448-bp region identified two consecutive but diverging open reading frames (ORFs) of which one, termed entQ, encodes a 34-amino-acid protein whose deduced amino acid sequence was identical to that obtained for EntQ by amino acid sequencing, showing that EntQ, similarly to EntL50A and EntL50B, is synthesized without an N-terminal leader sequence or signal peptide. The second ORF, termed orf2, was located immediately upstream of and in opposite orientation to entQ and encodes a putative immunity protein composed of 221 amino acids. Bacteriocin production by E. faecium L50 showed that EntP and EntQ are produced in the temperature range from 16 to 47 degrees C and maximally detected at 47 and 37 to 47 degrees C, respectively, while EntL50A and EntL50B are maximally synthesized at 16 to 25 degrees C and are not detected at 37 degrees C or above.

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