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J Biosci Bioeng. 2006 Sep;102(3):139-49.

Lantibiotics: insight and foresight for new paradigm.

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Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Division of Microbial Science and Technology, Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Graduate School, Kyushu University, 6-10-1 Hakozaki, Fukuoka, Japan.


Lantibiotics are a unique type of antimicrobial peptide produced by a large number of gram-positive bacteria that contain unusual amino acids, such as lanthionine and dehydrated amino acids. Ribosomally synthesized lantibiotic prepeptide consists of an N-terminal leader peptide followed by a C-terminal propeptide moiety that undergoes several post-translational modification events to yield a biologically active lantibiotic. Research on lantibiotics has drawn much attention in recent years and has undergone extensive progress as a step forward to the next paradigm. Unusual amino acids in lantibiotics solely contribute to their biological activity and also enhance their structural stability. Thus, enzymes involved in lantibiotic biosynthesis would have a high potential for peptide engineering by introducing unusual amino acids into desired peptides, which may establish a universal approach to advance the structural design of novel peptides, termed lantibiotic engineering. In this review, we focus on recent development with contemporary innovations and perspective of lantibiotic research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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