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Methods Mol Biol. 2004;268:225-33.

Purification of antilisterial bacteriocins.

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Laboratoire de Microbiologie Fondamentale et Appliquée, Université de Poitiers, Poitiers, France.


In recent years, numerous contamination outbreaks, involving various pathogens (i.e., Listeria and Salmonella), have increased concern over food preservation. Research efforts have focused on the discovery of new molecules targeting such foodborne pathogens and therefore able to inhibit and or kill them. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) extensively used in fermented foods for thousands of years not only improve their flavor and texture but also inhibit pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. LAB inhibitory activity is primarily owing to pH decrease and competition for substrates. Antagonistic activity of LAB also depends on secreted antimicrobial compounds with a poor selectivity, such as metabolic compounds (i.e., hydrogen peroxide, acetoin, and others) or more specific ones like bacteriocins. The latter are proteinaceous compounds, ribosomally synthesized and subsequently secreted by Gram-positive as well as Gram-negative bacteria. Their antimicrobial activity is generally restricted to strains phylogenetically related to the producers.A classification of bacteriocins produced by LAB was first proposed by Klaenhammer in 1993 and was modified by Nes et al. in 1996; class I and class II bacteriocins are the most abundant and thoroughly studied. Bacteriocins from both classes exhibit antilisterial activity. Class I bacteriocins, namely, lantibiotics, have been widely studied, and among them, nisin is used in many countries as a preservative in food products. These bacteriocins are characterized by the presence, in their primary structure, of post-translationally modified amino acid residues (i.e., lanthionine and methylanthionine) that are formed. Class II bacteriocins, containing three subclasses, consist of small peptides that do not bear any modified amino acid residue. The most studied subclass corresponds to class IIa, also termed anti-Listeria bacteriocins. These peptides share strong structural homologies in their N-terminal domain, with the presence of one disulfide bond and a net positive charge. Their C-terminal domain is more variable but appears quite hydrophobic. Moreover, some of these bacteriocins, namely, sakacin G, pediocin PA-1, enterocin A, coagulin, and divercin V41, are characterized by the presence of a second disulfide bond in the C-terminal region.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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