Send to

Choose Destination
Microb Cell Fact. 2005 May 30;4:16.

Optimization of the Lactococcus lactis nisin-controlled gene expression system NICE for industrial applications.

Author information

NIZO Food Research, PO Box 20, 6710 BA EDE, The Netherlands.



The nisin-controlled gene expression system NICE of Lactococcus lactis is one of the most widely used expression systems in Gram-positive bacteria. Despite its widespread use, no optimization of the culture conditions and nisin induction has been carried out to obtain maximum yields. As a model system induced production of lysostaphin, an antibacterial protein (mainly against Staphylococcus aureus) produced by S. simulans biovar. Staphylolyticus, was used. Three main areas need optimization for maximum yields: cell density, nisin-controlled induction and protein production, and parameters specific for the target-protein.


In a series of pH-controlled fermentations the following parameters were optimized: pH of the culture, use of NaOH or NH4OH as neutralizing agent, the addition of zinc and phosphate, the fermentation temperature, the time point of induction (cell density of the culture), the amount of nisin added for induction and the amount of three basic medium components, i.e. yeast extract, peptone and lactose. For each culture growth and lysostaphin production was followed. Lysostaphin production yields depended on all parameters that were varied. In the course of the optimization a three-fold increase in lysostaphin yield was achieved from 100 mg/l to 300 mg/l.


Protein production with the NICE gene expression system in L. lactis strongly depends on the medium composition, the fermentation parameters and the amount of nisin added for induction. Careful optimization of key parameters lead to a significant increase in the yield of the target protein.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center