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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 May;73(10):3300-6. Epub 2007 Mar 16.

Proteomic approach for characterization of hop-inducible proteins in Lactobacillus brevis.

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  • 1Technische Mikrobiologie, Technische Universität München, Weihenstephaner Steig 16, 85350 Freising, Germany.


Resistance to hops is a prerequisite for the capability of lactic acid bacteria to grow in beer and thus cause beer spoilage. Bactericidal hop compounds, mainly iso-alpha-acids, are described as ionophores which exchange H+ for cellular divalent cations, e.g., Mn2+, and thus dissipate ion gradients across the cytoplasmic membrane. The acid stress response of Lactobacillus brevis TMW 1.465 and hop adaptation in its variant L. brevis TMW 1.465A caused changes at the level of metabolism, membrane physiology, and cell wall composition. To identify the basis for these changes, a proteomic approach was taken. The experimental design allowed the discrimination of acid stress and hop stress. A strategy for improved protein identification enabled the identification of 84% of the proteins investigated despite the lack of genome sequence data for this strain. Hop resistance in L. brevis TMW 1.465A implies mechanisms to cope with intracellular acidification, mechanisms for energy generation and economy, genetic information fidelity, and enzyme functionality. Interestingly, the majority of hop-regulated enzymes are described as manganese or divalent cation dependent. Regulation of the manganese level allows fine-tuning of the metabolism, which enables a rapid response to environmental (stress) conditions. The hop stress response indicates adaptations shifting the metabolism into an energy-saving mode by effective substrate conversion and prevention of exhaustive protein de novo synthesis. The findings further demonstrate that hop stress in bacteria not only is associated with proton motive force depletion but obviously implies divalent cation limitation.

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