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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2007 Mar;31(2):134-67. Epub 2006 Nov 9.

The biology of lantibiotics from the lacticin 481 group is coming of age.

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Laboratoire de Biotechnologie et Chimie Marines, EA3884, Université de Bretagne Sud, Lorient, France.


Lantibiotics are antimicrobial peptides from the bacteriocin family, secreted by Gram-positive bacteria. These peptides differ from other bacteriocins by the presence of (methyl)lanthionine residues, which result from enzymatic modification of precursor peptides encoded by structural genes. Several groups of lantibiotics have been distinguished, the largest of which is the lacticin 481 group. This group consists of at least 16 members, including lacticin 481, streptococcin A-FF22, mutacin II, nukacin ISK-1, and salivaricins. We present the first review devoted to this lantibiotic group, knowledge of which has increased significantly within the last few years. After updating the group composition and defining the common properties of these lantibiotics, we highlight the most recent developments. The latter concern: transcriptional regulation of the lantibiotic genes; understanding the biosynthetic machinery, in particular the ability to perform in vitro prepeptide maturation; characterization of a novel type of immunity protein; and broad application possibilities. This group differs in many aspects from the best known lantibiotic group (nisin group), but shares properties with less-studied groups such as the mersacidin, cytolysin and lactocin S groups.

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