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Microb Cell Fact. 2009 Jan 8;8:3. doi: 10.1186/1475-2859-8-3.

Pediocins: The bacteriocins of Pediococci. Sources, production, properties and applications.

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Department of Hygiene and Technology of Food of Animal Origin, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54006, Greece.


Class IIa bacteriocins from lactic acid bacteria are small, cationic proteins with antilisterial activity. Within this class, the pediocins are those bacteriocins that share a highly conserved hydrophilic and charged N-terminal part harboring the consensus sequence -YGNGV- and a more variable hydrophobic and/or amphiphilic C-terminal part. Several pediocins have been isolated and characterized. Despite the structural similarities, their molecular weight varies, as well as their spectrum of antimicrobial activity. They exhibit important technological properties, e.g. thermostability and retaining of activity at a wide pH range, which along with the bactericidal action against Gram-positive food spoilage and pathogenic bacteria, make them an important class of biopreservatives. Much new information regarding the pediocins has emerged during the last years. In this review, we summarize and discuss all the available information regarding the sources of pediocins, the characteristics of their biosynthesis and production in fermentation systems, the characteristics of the known pediocin molecules, and their antibacterial action. The advances made by genetic engineering in improving the features of pediocins are also discussed, as well as their perspectives for future applications.

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